Tizen is an open source operating system that was introduced in late 2011, but so far information on when the platform might see an official, public release has been light. A Tizen-powered device may finally find its way onto shelves in 2013, though, as a new report from Japanese publication The Daily Yomiuri claims that Samsung could offer a smartphone running the new OS next year. It's said that Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo and other companies like Vodafone, France Telecom and other European operators are working to help develop Tizen and that Samsung "will probably" start offering Tizen handsets in 2013. It's rumored that the plan is to launch these new phones in Japan as well as other unnamed countries "around the same time."
Both Intel and Samsung are the primary backers of Tizen that are there to help steer its development, though the OS itself is open source and standards-based. Tizen supports several different types of hardware, including phones, tablets, TVs and in-car systems. While no such devices have actually hit the market yet, a Samsung device referred to as "GT-I9300_TIZEN" was recently spied getting certification from the Wi-Fi Alliance earlier this year, leading some to think that Samsung may have some sort of Tizen-powered Galaxy S III in its labs.
It's also worth noting that Sprint joined the Tizen Association earlier this year, and one of its executives also became part of the Tizen board of directors. There's no mention in today's report about any U.S.-specific Tizen launch plans, but if/when a Tizen-powered device does make its way to a stateside carrier, it looks as though Sprint would be the likeliest candidate to offer it.