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Samsung 'doubles down' on software with Tizen phones

The first Samsung smart phones to use its own OS, Tizen, rather than Android are coming this year -- but is that bad news for phone fans?

Samsung is "doubling down" on software. With Samsung planning to use its operating system Tizen in new smart phones, increased focus on its own software can help the Korean company begin to divert some of the cash currently funneling through Android to Google -- but is that bad news for phone fans?

Speaking to AllThingsD this week, Samsung global media boss David Eun discussed the company's plans to "double down" on software. Using other companies' software in Samsung hardware is costing the company money, so Tizen is set to make its debut before the end of the year.

Tizen is an operating system developed by Intel and Samsung. The Webkit-based operating system is built on the Linux kernel and provides an alternative to Android, Google's operating system found in the best-selling Samsung Galaxy line-up of phones and tablets.

So why would Samsung want to break away from Android, which has been an integral part of making Samsung the world's best-selling phone company? Money, of course.

At present, Samsung makes money from selling phones -- but once they're sold, that's it. Meanwhile, Google takes over and starts milking each Android like a fruit machine, if you'll pardon the mixed metaphor, by taking a cut from all the apps, movies and music we buy in the Google Play store. Samsung is planning its own app store for the new software in order to steal a slice of that pie away from Google.

The downside for us is that another closed-off app ecosystem means it's harder to switch from one phone to another. Right now, you can buy loads of Android apps for your Samsung Galaxy S3 knowing you can happily switch to an HTC or other Android phone at a later date. But if you spend loads in the Samsung store, your next phone has to be a Samsung too, or you lose all your apps.

Do you think it's time for Samsung to ditch Android, or is Android the key to Samsung's success? Have we already got enough operating systems? Tell me your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook page.

Update: A previous version of this story, entitled 'Samsung ditching Android this year with new Tizen phone' implied Samsung was moving away from Android entirely, which is not the case. The headline and text have been edited to clarify this.