Samsung’s first smartphones to be powered by its Tizen operating system have gone on sale.
The Z1 handsets are available in India for 5,700 rupees ($92; £60) and, according to the firm, offer faster boot times and longer-lasting battery life than many budget-priced rivals.
Samsung had previously planned to sell Tizen phones in Russia and Japan, but cancelled the launches.
One expert said the Indian move represented a shift away from Android.
“Tizen is Samsung’s big software platform bet,” said Ben Wood from the telecoms consultancy CCS Insight.
“Until now, its software strategy has been predicated by the decisions Google has made with Android, and it’s been able to use that relationship to enormously positive benefit.
“However, it’s now finding it increasingly challenging to differentiate what it offers with Android-powered devices versus its rivals. Hence the difficulty it’s having standing out from the crowd with its products and the related market share loss that it’s suffered.
“By using Tizen, Samsung can make its phones very skinny indeed and there are also battery life advantages versus Android, which we’ve already seen with its Tizen-powered smartwatches.”
Samsung is currently the world’s bestselling manufacturer of handsets running Android,
However, the firm was a notable holdout when Google announced its Android One programme for India in September – an effort by the search giant to help manufacturers release low-cost “high quality” phones in the country by setting minimum standards and sourcing several of the hardware components for them.