Samsung announces Bada OS for its upcoming smartphones

10 Nov

Samsung has announced its own proprietary smartphone OS, Bada, which means ocean in Korean. Samsung will make the OS open by releasing an SDK in December and aims to launch its first Bada smartphone in the first half of 2010. The handset vendor is also promising multiple touchscreen phones running on Bada in the second half of 2010.

The move hardly comes as a surprise, even as Samsung is launching smartphones running on three rival OS – Android, Symbian and Windows Mobile. We believe that despite launching its own OS, Samsung will continue working on at least some of the existing platforms.

While Samsung hopes to rope in developers to create applications for its Bada OS, which will be marketed via Samsung’s application store, it is highly unlikely that the Korean handset vendor would write off the investments it has made on other platforms. Instead, we see Bada as a platform that will enable Samsung to launch cheaper smartphones. Think of it as the Samsung Star and Corby running on a smartphone platform for which more applications are available instead of just a few widgets.

Samsung has shipped over 10 million units of its Star phone in less than seven months. Had the Star been running a smartphone OS, the numbers could have been much higher and that’s what Samsung will achieve from Bada. Think of such devices as a bridge between feature phones and smartphones. We expect such ‘bridge phones’ to become quite popular next year, especially when they will retain under Rs 10,000 ($200 unsubsidized) in the market.

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