Daniel Eran Dilger
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Samsung Bada unveiled as new iPhone, Android platform rival

Mobile phone marketshare

Prince McLean, AppleInsider

Samsung, the world’s second largest phone maker globally after Nokia, has announced Bada as its own new smartphone platform which it hopes to use to gain entry into the sophisticated phone market.

Samsung Bada unveiled as new iPhone, Android platform rival
Samsung’s Bada, the Korean word for “ocean,” is reportedly built on top of Linux and is expected to be released with an open SDK next month, with the first Bada phones to be introduced early next year. Unlike Symbian or Android, Samsung appears to be developing its new mobile platform and software market solely for the benefit of its own phones, much like RIM, Apple, and Palm.

Searching for a smartphone platform

The company’s current smartphone lineup is about 80% Windows Mobile and 20% Symbian. A year ago, the company released the new Windows Mobile Omnia as its flagship offering, but followed up this year with the Omnia HD using Symbian instead, a move identical to Sony Ericsson’s release of the Windows Mobile Xperia X1 followed by this year’s Symbian-based Idou.

Also like Sony Ericsson, Samsung announced plans earlier this year to back Android instead of Symbian in the future, with an announcement that 30% of its phones next year would use Android. That expansion was expected to come from reduced use of Windows Mobile, but now Samsung is indicating that it will phase out Symbian entirely, drastically reduce the use of Windows Mobile, and introduce the new Bada as its preferred smartphone operating system.

HMC investment securities analyst Greg Noh outlined Samsung’s expected smartphone mix showing Symbian completely phased out by 2011, and Samsung’s own Bada making up half of its portfolio by 2012, with the remainder being about 30% Android and 20% Windows Mobile.

Another big phone maker eyes a world outside of Android

In the general mobile phone market, Samsung has been making incremental progress toward leader Nokia with around 20% of the global phone market. It currently sells more phones than the rest of the top five makers (LG, Sony Ericsson and Motorola) combined. In smartphones however, Samsung has just recently broke into the top five vendors, well behind Nokia, RIM, Apple, and HTC with sales of just 1.4 million in the most recent quarter, the same figure as last year. With the growth in smartphones, that contributed to Samsung’s market share of advanced phones actually slipping slightly year over year.

Mobile phone marketshare

Android advocates widely expected Samsung to warmly adopt Google’s platform, as it provides a free alternative to the Windows Mobile software the company currently uses. Instead, Samsung is following Nokia’s lead in working to maintain its own destiny independent of Google. Nokia is both sponsoring the Symbian Foundation and its own Maemo Linux distribution.

Samsung’s interest in creating and managing its own smartphone platform also reflects the interests of second place smartphone vendor RIM and its BlackBerry OS, and Apple in third place with the iPhone. Palm has followed a similar strategy with its own proprietary WebOS.

As a smartphone vendor experienced with using third party software from Microsoft and Symbian, Samsung’s interest in developing and maintaining its own proprietary platform rather than trying to adapt Android to create differentiated phones in a competitive market is a dramatic refutal of the conventional thinking that Android will explode among vendors next year.

Instead, Samsung’s considerable resources will be devoted toward its own new platform, creating more competition and differentiation in options among smartphone platforms and reducing the energy being channeled toward licensed operating systems, with Windows Mobile being the biggest loser (with the loss of around 1.2 million of the 3.6 million Windows Mobile phones that shipped in Q3 2009), Symbian losing a significant licensee entirely, and Android facing a rival new marketplace for mobile software.

Samsung expects to release more information to developers about its SDK plans next month via its Bada website.

  • http://www.marketingtactics.com davebarnes

    You are fast. Really fast.

  • stormj

    All I want to know is the default search engine of the ‘bada’ ‘bing’?

  • http://www.lowededwookie.com lowededwookie

    Why does that name sound like a really poor product?

    Bada sounds like “Bad eh?”.

    I’m not really holding out much hope for this product.

  • gus2000

    Is “Bada” really any worse than “Wince”? (WinCE)

    Bada Bing, Bada Boom

  • lmasanti

    The funny thing –at least for me– is that “they don’t get it!”

    The full idea behind iPhone’s OS X is not –in my personal opinion– that it is “owned” by Apple… in the sense of Samsung’s Bada or Nokia’s Symbian/Maemo. I’m just taking into account the companies that develop hard and soft.

    The real strength of iPhone’s OS X is that it is the same as the OS X in Apple’s desktop computers and Apple’s hand held computers and Apple’s servers.

    In other words, Apple has just ONE operating system for all its products!

    Maybe, some day, they will be awakened!

  • MipWrangler


    iPhone OS and Mac OS X aren’t really the same OS, at least not much more than could be said of some of the Linux-based mobile OSs and a Linux desktop distro. They may share the same kernel and services layer code, but they are optimized differently, have separate builds, not to mention different UIs (though I will grant you that the UIs are at least based on the same APIs). Where I agree with you is that Apple has a consistent user experience across their two platforms. I don’t think any self respecting “Linux guy” (including myself) could claim Linux provides anything close to a consistent UI experience. Unless of course you want to be clever and say it’s consistently inconsistent! ;)

  • http://www.adviespraktijk.info Berend Schotanus

    Interesting new development! Assessing in how far this is “good” or “bad” for Android depends on the goals that Google had while developing Android. When the goal was to earn money with software in an Android Market this certainly is bad news.
    However, my personal feeling is that Android primarily was meant to break open the mobile internet market and prevent one party, be it Apple or Microsoft, from domination. Seen from this perspective Android seems quite successful. It helped the lesser Gods in mobile industry to take the step from phones to smartphones while remaining independent from Big Microsoft. It helped them to start thinking on their own, to discover that user experience and user interface are really connected to their brand while there is a wealth of open source foundation (like Linux, WebKit, …) they can build upon. Whenever I have been enthusiastic about Android this is the kind of development I’ve been hoping for.

  • http://crankyoldnutcase.blogspot.com/ The Mad Hatter

    Hum. I just hope the build quality on the Smart Phones is better than their build quality on the Dumb Phones. Quite frankly their Dumb Phones are junk.

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