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Samsung: Tizen Linux phones will arrive in 2013

Handsets running this Intel-backed OS will bring yet more choice to the mobile arena.

Hard on the heels of Wednesday's unveiling of Ubuntu Linux for phones, Samsung has now reportedly confirmed that it plans to ship new Linux-based mobile devices of its own later this year.

Rather than Ubuntu Linux or Linux-based Android, however, Samsung's handsets will be based on Tizen Linux, a mobile OS that was launched by the Linux Foundation and the LiMo Foundation in late 2011.

Samsung plans "to unveil competitive Tizen devices within this year," a company spokesperson reportedly told CNET on Thursday, though no further specifics were provided.

Samsung hasn't yet responded to my request for more information, but I'll post an update if and when it does.

Meanwhile, a separate report by the Japanese Daily Yomiuri Online suggests that NTT Docomo is also involved, as noted today by The H.

An ongoing attraction

Generally considered a replacement for the long-struggling Linux-based MeeGo platform, Tizen has been the focus of Samsung's interest for some time already.

At last year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES), in fact, Samsung executive Kang Tae-jin told Forbes that Samsung planned to merge its homegrown Bada mobile operating system into Tizen.

Samsung later backtracked on that statement, but meanwhile Tizen also won Intel's support. Not long afterwards, Samsung became a platinum member of the Linux Foundation.

MeeGo, meanwhile, has since gone on to become a key part of Finnish startup Jolla's plans in the form of Sailfish OS.

A Linux-based world

In any case, it's truly striking what a huge part of the mobile world Linux has become.

Not only does five-year-old Android currently dominate the smartphone market, but we have more up-and-coming Linux-based alternatives emerging, including not just Tizen and Ubuntu but also Firefox OS (formerly Boot to Gecko) and Open webOS, among others.

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