SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Samsung Electronics Co. started selling a $90 smartphone in India on Wednesday that runs on the company’s Tizen software, its first major break from Google’s Android operating system in the mobile phone market.
The Samsung Z1 went on sale for 5,700 rupees ($92), one of the cheapest phones that Samsung has launched.
With the Tizen operating system, Samsung is trying to lessen its dependence on Android software, which powers a majority of the South Korean company’s smartphones including its flagship Galaxy series.
Samsung earlier this month said its Internet-connected televisions will use Tizen from this year, allowing the TVs to easily synchronize with Tizen mobile devices.
The Z1 was unveiled in June but its launch was postponed. The delays were seen as a setback to Samsung’s efforts to have control over the content and services that are used on its devices.
The phone is easy to use “even for the first-time smartphone users,” Samsung said in a statement. The company said a speedy boot time, quick access to apps and fast page loading during web surfing show the Tizen software’s benefits.
The Z1 has a 4-inch display and 3.1 million megapixel camera. It is powered by a 1.2 gigahertz dual-core processor. The battery size is about half of Samsung’s top-end smartphones.
Analysts believe Samsung will mainly use the Tizen OS in low-end smartphones for developing nations.