new smartphone operating system developed by a global collaboration of
tech firms to rival Google's Android and Apple's iOS will be launched in
the next few months, Japanese mobile phone operator NTT Docomo said
The open source offering called Tizen, based on the
Linux operating system, is expected to be installed on telephones sold
from the end of March, NTT Docomo spokesman Jun Otori told AFP.
is the product of a tie-up among companies from Japan, China, South
Korea, Europe and the United States and comes despite tensions among the
Asian neighbours over territorial disputes.
The consortium that
makes up Tizen Association include US giant Intel, Japan's Fujitsu,
South Korea's Samsung and LG, China's Huawei, and European mobile
carriers Vodafone and Orange.
"Unlike Android and iOS, Tizen
allows us to develop freely whatever we envision because it is an
open-source operating system," said Otori.
Open-source operating systems are not proprietary.
mobile phones once led the world with cutting-edge technologies such as
Docomo's i-mode, the world's first mobile web service, and software
including electronic payment systems.
But their glory faded
quickly with the emergence of Apple's iPhone, as their concentration on
catering to the quirks of domestic consumers saw them diverge from the
rest of the world, a phenomenon dubbed "Galapagos Syndrome".
"With Tizen, we hope to revitalise Japanese-developed services and create new services more freely," Otori said.
is among a handful of new smartphone platforms expected to become
available this year, challenging the stranglehold of the two market
leaders, Android and iOS.
Android and Apple account for more than
90 percent of the surging smartphone market, with BlackBerry and
Microsoft's Windows Phone vying for third spot.
operating systems based on the open-source platforms Linux and Mozilla's
Firefox will be hitting the market this year, most likely in emerging
Samsung's Tizen-equipped smartphone was likely to be
unveiled next month around the time of the industry-wide exhibition
Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, Japan's Mainichi Shimbun said
Samsung will put a Tizen smartphone on the market as early as this spring, the daily said, citing unnamed industry sources.
NTT Docomo, China's number two carrier China Mobile and South Korea's
second-largest carrier KT are planning to share their mobile networks
using high-speed LTE technology this year, in a bid to internationalise
their businesses, the Mainichi said.
The reported move comes
against the backdrop of rising cross-border business and tourism, and
Docomo expects the planned cooperation to help stimulate the Asian
market, it said