Chinese phone maker ZTE is preparing to show off a smartphone running the Tizen operating system at Mobile World Congress in late February. It’s not clear if that means ZTE will definitely launch a Tizen phone this year, but the company’s clearly at least looking into the possibility.
It’s not the first time ZTE has dabbled in operating systems other than Android. The phone maker is also one of the first to offer handsets powered by Firefox OS.
The ZTE Geek smartphone demo is a bit of good news for the backers of the Tizen operating system. But it comes on the heels of not-so-good news. Japanese wireless carrier NTT DoCoMo recently put its plans to launch Tizen phones on hold indefinitely.
Tizen is a Linux-based operating system backed by some key players in the mobile computing space including Samsung and Intel. It’s been in development for a few years, and rose out of the ashes of MeeGo, MaeMo, Moblin, and other long-discontinued operating systems. It’s designed to be a versatile, customizable operating system that gives device makers and wireless carriers an alternative to the currently dominant players including Google Android and iOS.
As a Linux-based OS, it’s also got a bit of geek cred from folks looking for a hackable platform. Maybe that’s why it seems appropriate that the phone ZTE will be showing off is a version of the ZTE Geek smartphone the company launched in 2013.