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Samsung will launch its first Tizen-based smartphone next year and Japanese consumers will get a taste of the new OS first.

According to a Japanese daily, the new device will be sold through NTT Docomo and other carriers, starting at some point in 2013. European carriers are also interested in Tizen, including Vodafone and France Telecom.

Samsung apparently hopes to build a platform around Tizen, to rival the likes of Apple and Google. High hopes to say the least, but then again we are already hearing rumours of an X phone from Motorola’s skunk works, which is apparently Google’s idea of an insurance policy in case Samsung tries to go it alone.

Tizen is a Linux-based operating system and it only came to being after Nokia chose to pull the plug on MeeGo. Intel and Samsung took over and the Linux Foundation is now in charge of overseeing development. In addition to smartphones, Tizen could be used in tablets, smart TVs and other devices, even appliances. It’s a shot across Google’s bow, but we’re not sure it can sink Android.

More here.