Here’s the Z1, Samsung’s first Tizen phone to battle Android

After delaying its first Tizen-powered several times in 2014, it appears that next month Samsung will debut its handset that uses the company’s own software. Technically, Tizen is open-source software so anyone can use it, but Samsung is betting big on the platform so the company can break away from using Android.

The new phone is called the [company]Samsung[/company] Z1 and is expected to launch in January in India, where dozens of handset makers offer low-cost [company]Google[/company] Android phones. News of the launch, as well as images and details of the Samsung Z1, were leaked online from a phone retailer claiming to have attended a pre-launch meeting. SamMobile noticed the details found in this series of tweets on Monday.

As the picture of the Z1 specifications show, the handset isn’t meant to compete against Apple’s iPhone, Google’s Nexus 6 or even Samsung’s own Galaxy S5 phone. The idea here is two-fold: To provide a capable phone at a reasonable price, and to have complete control over both the hardware and software in a handset, just as [company]Apple[/company] does.

Using Android software, Samsung has gone from being a non-player in the smartphone market to becoming the top seller of handsets in the world over the past four years. Mobile phone profits have peaked for the company, however, as it focused mainly on the higher end of the market, which has become saturated to some degree.

Samsung Apps logoAll the while, however, Samsung has planned to offer phones with its own software, including stores for apps and digital media. It tried repeatedly to push Samsung-branded stores, but Google’s Android licensing requires the Google services to be front and center, so Samsung’s own storefronts haven’t taken off with consumers. Only by removing Google from the equation can Samsung own the phone platform and all of the revenues that come with it.

Based on the specs alone, the Z1 appears to have ticked all of the check boxes for what cost-conscious consumers will want in a phone. Price, which is currently unknown, will surely be a factor. So too will be the Tizen experience and apps: We’ll soon see if Samsung’s software implementation makes the grade.