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Samsung to launch high-end Tizen handset in late summer

Samsung's first phone to run the Tizen OS will touch down in August or September, and is expected to be a high-end offering.

Samsung has already said it would launch phones that use the Tizen operating system, but now here's confirmation the company will launch a high-end device running that OS at the end of the summer.

"The Tizen phone will be out in August or September, and this will be in the high-end category. The device will be the best product equipped with the best specifications," Samsung's executive vice president of its mobile business Lee Young Hee told Bloomberg. There's no word on what exactly makes it "best" though.

No Tizen devices are on sale yet, but anyone buying one will have "thousands" of apps to choose from, according to Chase Perrin from the Tizen Association. He accuses Android of being tightly controlled, with Tizen aiming to be just as open source and as easy to develop for.

Samsung wants to get away from Android -- which helped make it the world's biggest smart phone company -- because Google takes a huge cut from all the apps bought from Google Play to use on Samsung's devices. Which must eat into Samsung's profits something rotten.

Tizen is being developed by 12 companies, including Samsung, Intel, and Sprint Nextel, as a rival to Android.

It could be bad news for punters though. More fragmentation will mean more operating systems to get used to, which will turn off more 'casual' users. If you buy lots of apps from a Samsung-specific app store, your next mobile will have to be another Samsung, unless you want to lose all your purchases and pay for them again.

Having said that, competition is always welcome. And I do like the look of the Ubuntu Touch operating system shown off at Mobile World Congress.

What do you think? Do we have too many operating systems? Or should Tizen show Android how it's done? Let me know in the comments, or on Facebook.