Samsung offers developers $US4 million for non-Android apps as Galaxy S3 reportedly explodes in Switzerland

A new Samsung competition offering developers prizes for creating apps for its forthcoming Tizen smartphone platform has been overshadowed by reports a Galaxy S3 smartphone has exploded in Switzerland.

The news follows a tweet by industry analyst Eldar Murtazin, claiming recent delays to the platform’s release meant Samsung was on the verge of pulling the plug on plans to develop its own smartphone platform, which is set to be released in competition to Google Android.

“Tizen is almost dead. It isn’t [a] delay. That’s [the cancellation] of the whole project. I doubt that samsung [sic] will launch more than one device for 2014,” Murtazin tweeted.

The Korean electronics giant has responded to claims it is on the verge of abandoning the platform by offering $US4 million in prizes as part of a new competition to encourage developers to port their apps to the platform.

Under the Tizen App Challenge competition, the Korean electronics giant is offering developers 54 prizes across nine categories for porting apps to the yet-to-be-released platform, along with additional prizes of $US50,000 for each of the top 10 HTML 5 apps entered into the competition.

News of the Tizen competition come as reports surface of a Samsung user in Switzerland claiming the batteries in her Galaxy S3 smartphone exploded while in her pocket.

According to Swiss newspaper Le Matin, 18-year-old painter Fanny Schlatter claims her smartphone suddenly exploded while she was loading paint cans onto a truck at work, severely burning her legs.

“Once we have been able to contact this person, we will launch a thorough investigation to shed light on the accident and, in this context, what is left of the phone will probably be sent to Korea,” says Swiss Samsung spokesperson Mirjam Berger.

Samsung says previous reports of exploding smartphones and batteries have all proven false, with investigations revealing one such example last year was caused by a smartphone being dried off in a microwave after being dropped in water.

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