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Samsung makes a big bet on its own operating system

Samsung launched a smartphone on Wednesday to target first-time buyers of such phones in India—and to keep them from entering the Android mobile ecosystem.

Not only does the new phone represent an aggressive move into a developing mobile market, the device also demonstrates a big shift away from Google's Android mobile software, The Wall Street Journal reports. The new phone will reportedly use the Tizen OS, which Samsung has been developing for the better part of three years.

Samsung's flagship phones and devices are all powered by Google's Android mobile OS.

The new phone—called the Samsung Z1—is an entry-level device, with 3G capability, a liquid crystal display and a rear camera. It will sell for $92.

Indian Bollywood actress Huma Qureshi poses during the launch of the Samsung Z1 smartphone at a function in New Delhi on Jan. 14, 2015.
Sajjad Hussain | AFP | Getty Images
Indian Bollywood actress Huma Qureshi poses during the launch of the Samsung Z1 smartphone at a function in New Delhi on Jan. 14, 2015.

As reported in the Journal, smartphones using either Android and Apple's iOS made up 95 percent of the phones sold in the third quarter of 2014, according to market research firm Gartner.

With it's own operating system, Samsung hopes to put a dent into both Apple's and Google's mobile dominance.

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The number of apps for the Tizen OS are considerably less than those for Android and Apple. Samsung's online Tizen store will have about 1,000 apps available versus more than 1 million apps on rival operating systems.

Samsung has also released cameras, smartwatches and TVs powered by Tizen.

—Reuters contributed to this report.