Android, iOS, Windows Phone, and BlackBerry may dominate the mobile phone market at the moment. But we’re expecting a number of challengers this year, including Firefox OS, Ubuntu Phone OS, Tizen, and Sailfish.
Those two last ones are mobile operating systems based on Linux. Tizen is backed by some major players including Samsung, while Sailfish rose out of the ashes of the defunct MeeGo operating system.
Devices running Tizen and Sailfish are expected to launch within the next few months.
In fact, Jolla Mobile’s Marc Dillon even showed off a phone running Sailfish this week — and by showed off, I mean he showed the back of the phone to an audience in China. There was no mention of the size, specs, price, or anything else — but Dillon says the phone will launch in a few weeks.
Meanwhile Greek site Tizen.gr dug up the code-names and model numbers for two upcoming Samsung phones running Tizen.
One appears to be the GT-I8800, code-named Melius, while the second is the GT-I8805, which is code-named Redwood.
Both phones are expected to run Tizen 2.1 and both are expected to launch by September. The Redwood is reportedly a 4G phone while the Melius will support 3G.
There are no other details about Samsung’s upcoming Tizen phones yet. But Samsung certainly knows how to make a decent smartphone. The company’s Galaxy line of Samsung phones and tablets are among the most popular in the world.
Samsung Galaxy phones also run a whole raft of software on top of Android, which makes them look more like Samsung phones than Android phones — so I suspect it wouldn’t be that hard for the company to put out a Tizen device that looks an awful lot like a Samsung Android handset, complete with a TouchWiz-like user interface and special features such as Smart Stay and Smart Scrolling.
A key difference would be support for third party apps though — right now there are over 700,000 apps available in the Google Play Store, while Tizen is a relatively new platform with an emphasis on apps written using web technologies such as HTML5. It’s not clear how many high quality apps will be available for the Redwood and Melius phones when they launch.