Nov, 11 2009

In case you haven’t heard, Samsung announced their own proprietary “Open Mobile Platform” called Bada – which stands for “Ocean” in Korean – and they expect HUGE things from this OS moving forward. I just want to declare my desire for Samsung to team up with Microsoft to rival Google – they would be based on Samsung’s open “Bada” OS and “powered by Bing” services. So yeah, they would be called “Bada Bing Phones”.


Welcome to the cell phone mafia.

All joking aside, this is really big news… but not as big as Samsung thinks. You see, a couple days ago an analyst outed information suggesting 30% of Samsung phones would run Android in 2010. That was interesting… but what was MORE interesting is their estimation that Samsung Android ownership would DROP in 2012 as they sell more phones with their proprietary OS. At this point the company hadn’t yet announced Bada and I was already amazingly skeptical.

How in the heck does Samsung think they can outperform Android? They can make as many Bada phones as they want – it doesn’t mean they’re going to sell as well as Samsung’s Android Phones. And they won’t. Android is behind Apple in terms of adoption. WebOS is WAY behind Android. And then all these different proprietary but self-proclaimed open platforms or application markets are even further behind. Samsung can try to enter the market next year… but they’re not a threat to Android.

I can appreciate Samsung’s optimism though… because hey – if YOU’RE not excited about a product, why would anyone else think they should be? The Samsung Instinct iPhone Killer campaign may not have been accurate, but pure product arrogance pushed a heckuva lot of phones in that case. Now imagine the Instinct with an Open OS that allows developers to make applications and games for it with their own little application market. It might not dethrone a REAL smartphone OS but if it brings a new level of usability and options to “feature phones” then it’ll put them in a good position.

I think some industry stakeholders are panicking a bit. Google just waltzed in and completely changed the game and now the elders are saying, wait a minute… if EVERYONE has Android then what is OUR competitive advantage? And if you can’t answer that question, its time to go out and create one. Samsung did just that… but I don’t know how much it will actually help. Remember that Android is FREE so the intention is it will LOWER the cost of producing smartphones for manufacturers because they DON’T have to worry about building, maintaining and integrating their own Operating System. Samsung will have to do just that and I’m guessing it will impact price. How could it not? Samsung could artificially increase the price of their Android Phones and subsidize their Bada phones with revenue from elsewhere, but for a whole list of reasons I think we can all agree that would be a poor decision.

Hey wait a minute. All this talk about Bada but we don’t really know what it – exactly – it is.


Based on their “about page“, I’m guessing they just want to make their feature phones better:

More and more people want rich and connected application-experiences that are currently available only for smartphone consumers. Samsung has developed bada to make these exclusive smartphone experiences available to everyone.

No offense, but this is pretty much exactly the purpose of Android which intends to:

offer consumers a richer, less expensive, and better mobile experience.

I’m pretty sure I know exactly what Google is thinking. Kind of laughing a bit. Everyone is pulling the “me too” card here, there and everywhere. Samsung is going to launch the platform in December and we’ll see the first Bada phone in the 1st Half of 2010. To be honest, that is pretty darn quick…. but we’ll see if they’re actually able to meet that target. They’ve also got a “Bada Developer Challenge” with “Cash Prizes” that will be defined later.

Good luck to Samsung. In terms of elevating their proprietary feature phones, I’m sure Samsung will have a Bada Bing on their hands. But in terms of dethroning Android? Not a chance… and Nada boom.

Here is the full press release:

November 10th, 2009, Seoul, Korea – Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., a leading mobile phone provider, today announced the launch of its own open mobile platform, Samsung bada [bada] in December. This new addition to Samsung’s mobile ecosystem enables developers to create applications for millions of new Samsung mobile phones, and consumers to enjoy a fun and diverse mobile experience.

In order to build a rich smartphone experience accessible to a wider range of consumers across the world, Samsung brings bada, a new platform with a variety of mobile applications and content.

The name ‘bada’, which means ‘ocean’ in Korean, was chosen to convey the limitless variety of potential applications which can be created using the new platform. It also alludes to Samsung’s commitment to a variety of open platforms in the mobile industry. Samsung bada also represents the fresh challenges and opportunities available to developers, as well as the entertainment which consumers will enjoy once the new platform is open.

Based on Samsung’s experience in developing previous proprietary platforms on Samsung mobile phones, Samsung can create the new platform and provide opportunities for developers. Samsung bada is also simple for developers to use, meaning it’s one of the most developer-friendly environments available, particularly in the area of applications using Web services. Lastly, bada’s ground-breaking User Interface (UI) can be transferred into a sophisticated and attractive UI design for developers.

Samsung will be able to expand the range of choices for mobile phone users to enjoy the smartphone experiences. By adopting Samsung bada, users will be able to easily enjoy various applications on their mobile.

Samsung bada also offers an easy-to-integrate platform for mobile operators so that mobile operators can provide unique and differentiated services to their customers.

Samsung established its mobile application ecosystem through the launch of Samsung Mobile Innovator in 2008 and the Samsung Application Seller Site followed by Samsung Application Store as another key element of this offering.

Dr Hosoo Lee, Executive Vice President and Head of Media Solution Center at Samsung Electronics said, “By opening Samsung’s mobile platforms we will be able to provide rich mobile experiences on an increasing number of accessible smartphones.” He added, “bada will be Samsung’s landmark, iconic new platform that brings an unprecedented opportunity for operators, developers and Samsung mobile phone users around the world.”

The official website ( will open on November 10th and will feature a range of information on bada including updates on product launches, features, and event notices. Samsung will also host an official launch event for bada in London, UK in December and will also unveil its bada software development kit (SDK) to developers for the first time on this date.

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