With all the buzz surrounding the Galaxy S4, it's easy to forget that Samsung has been pushing for the development of Tizen OS that will compete against Android. The world’s largest smartphone maker is planning an August release for the first phone powered by the open-source Tizen OS.

Bloomberg quoted a Samsung high-level executive who spilled the beans on the development. “The Tizen phone will be out in August or September, and this will be in the high-end category,” Lee Young Hee, Executive Vice President-Mobile business, Samsung’s said. “The device will be the best product equipped with the best specifications.

Screenshots of the Tizen OS (image credit: SamMobile)

Screenshots of the Tizen OS (image credit: SamMobile)

The website further reports that the model will join two other premium handsets designed by Samsung  and will line up alongside the fresh-from-the-oven Galaxy S4 and the forthcoming Galaxy Note 3.

Samsung and Intel are among a total of 12 companies pushing forward the development of Tizen, which will be an alternative to the most prominent open source mobile OS, Android. It will also go up against newbie open source OSes like Firefox OS, Ubuntu for mobile and SailFishOS.

There currently are no Tizen devices available in the market, but Chase Perrin, an official with the Tizen Association, said the first phone will have no dearth of applications to choose from. “Android, among other mobile operating systems, is tightly controlled,” Perrin said. “As an open-source software platform, Tizen is designed to make it easy to develop for a range of devices.

Tizen is capable of running all Android apps that are currently available on the Google Play Store thanks to the Application Compatibility Layer (ACL) running underneath. The OS is being developed by the companies part of the Tizen Foundation and the first device will likely launch on Japan’s NTT DoCoMo network. Samsung recently showed off the reference device running the OS at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and had earlier released the 2.0 SDK for developers to get a taste of the OS and to expedite app development.

The Tizen SDK is available for download

The Tizen SDK is available for download

This (Tizen) is just sort of a safety net (for Samsung),” said Doh Hyun Woo, an analyst for Seoul-based Mirae Asset Securities, before adding, “But if Google dominates the market just like Microsoft did in the PC market with more than 90 percent share, it may turn totally opposite.

Huawei, China’s largest maker of telecommunication equipment, is also among the manufacturers developing Tizen. “We see open source and web-based platforms, like the one provided by Tizen, as a good collaboration opportunity,” said Scott Sykes, a spokesman for the company. “Any discussion on specific products is premature.

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