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Is it Bada or Bust for Samsung?




The recent news from the Samsung camp is that they are going to drop support for the Symbian OS by end of the year. Instead, Samsung is concentrating its effort on promoting it’s own home-brewed OS called Bada.

While that’s to be expected, Samsung is also working with the upcoming Windows Phone 7 and Android OS for their future handsets. The move might imply that Samsung is looking at Symbian as the closest competitor to their own Bada platform.

The last handset made by Samsung that runs on Symbian was way back in February of 2009 and the only time I saw one was with the Omnia HD i8910.

On the other hand, aside from the Samsung Wave two new Bada-powered phones are coming out this month (Samsung S5330 Wave 2 Pro & Samsung S5250 Wave 2).

During the last Bada Developer Seminar with Samsung, they indicated that their Bada OS will be targeted more to their mid-range handsets giving way to Android for the high-end units.

The strategy makes sense and Samsung is betting heavily with Bada. It will be up to the developer community if the effort is well worth it. You guys think it’s Bada or bust for Samsung?



Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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27 Responses

  1. Jake says:

    I think, having only mid-range handsets as target market for Bada OS is not promising. They should develop this for high-end units as well because it’s the high-end unit users that have the more capability of purchasing apps..

  2. manny says:

    Samsung will bet on having multiple OS platforms as part of its mobile business strategy.

  3. chintoguy29 says:

    this is a good strategy for Samsung. No doubt its the No. 2 mobile phone maker.

  4. lolipown says:

    Choice is always good but if Samsung lets Bada stagnate, they’ll have another symbian on their hands.

    OTOH, it’ll be an interesting development if Samsung licenses Bada to other dumbphones makers.

  5. Teknisyan says:

    The problem with phone manufacturers these days is that they have an identity crisis not only with Samsung but also with LG and HTC. Not only that they offer 3 or more Mobile OS, they also have different department that maintain these said OSes. Not like Palm (RIP), BlackBerry, Nokia and Apple. So this can be a bust even if it has a promising future!!! :)

  6. Samsung must stick and c0ncentrate to one OS only!

  7. brodanmd says:

    it’s bust. eventually they will fall into android only.

  8. ice3d says:

    It’s a bust obviously. The sales of Bada phones are extremely low, maybe because it hasn’t penetrated the market yet? Or maybe people are not really interested. Talking about the dev army, it’s just iOS and Android. All other non-popular OS will suffer marketplace fail, then smartphone OS fail.

    I pity Samsung for creating Bada and teasing the world how good it is but now is stuck between the iOS and Android war.

    PS Bada is a smartphone OS, why bother market it to mid? Dear Samsung, its either a dumbphone or a smartphone!

  9. frragglerocker says:

    kawawa yong mga samsung phone owners who have Symbian OS.

    this is all about strategy for samsung and it’s not a bad one except these boneheads didn’t leave much time for their OS to mature (not enough user base, support and apps for BADA) before permanently leaving Symbian and owners of symbian-samsung phones in the dust…

  10. Techfreak says:

    @ice3d

    Extremely low? Samsung was able to sell out 1 million units of the Wave worldwide in 2 months since its launch back in June. And just last month the 1 million sales mark was passed in Europe alone.

    People keep on hating on BADA when they don’t even realize Samsung never really intends to have it compete with the likes of the Android and the iOS. It’s just there to help feature phone users transition slowly to a smartphone market.

    I’ve used almost all OSes starting with Symbian, Windows Mobile, iOS and previously the Android OS. Now, I’m a proud Wave Owner and I’m contented with the phone, I’m not biased in any way cause I still think the phone’s just a glorified feature phone, but you’d still be surprised how it can take on the iPhone 4 in terms of features and functions and leave it in the dust considering it’s a first generation device.

    As far as user base goes, I’m pretty sure that 14 million downloads statistic in the Samsung Apps store wasn’t made by a few Wave owners. The apps are still growing, you don’t expect a 3 month old OS to be able to have the same number of apps tenured OSes currently have.

    In the end, BADA is still in it’s infancy, pretty much how crappy the iOS and the Android used to be when they were starting out. It has great potential and if you’ve never used one, how the hell can you say it’s a bust?

  11. That’s Samsung marketing plan so whatever will be the outcome they should face it whether it can make or break them. I assume the reason why they don’t wanna stay in one OS because of the competition and of course if you are someone who doesn’t want to be left out you will definitely offer something to your target market, whether some of them like it or not. It’s a strategy that they are ready to run because they know that they can definitely compete. At least there are a lot of choices.

  12. frragglerocker says:

    @Techfreak:

    14 million downloads does not constitute a user base, bro.

    btw, BADA was launched last year, so it’s about a year old already but unfortunately, does not enjoy the same industry support as Android, iOS and even WinMo.

    I don’t hate BADA and I own and like my Samsung phone but c’mon.. this move was more about Samsung economics than anythings else.. understandable but a little bit douchey move to drop their symbian users like that.

  13. lolipown says:

    @frragglerocker
    While I won’t argue that it’s a douchey move on Samsung’s part to unceremoniously drop Symbian, it’s not entirely fair to put the blame solely on their doorsteps. Case in point is that one of symbian’s biggest fan (the owner of symbian-guru.com) gave up on it too. That’s telling something isn’t it?

    http://www.symbian-guru.com/welcome/2010/07/symbian-guru-com-is-over.html

  14. asus g60jx says:

    “During the last Bada Developer Seminar with Samsung, they indicated that their Bada OS will be targeted more to their mid-range handsets giving way to Android for the high-end units.”

    this is definitely a bust. i was thinking of replacing my arena with the wave but after knowing that the Bada will only be targeted for mid-range handsets, i don’t think samsung is serious with sticking to Bada when the going gets tough.

  15. Techfreak says:

    @fragglerocker

    It just means that 14 million downloads mark would only be possible if there was a significantly high number of people owning a Wave to do so. Oh well, I won’t argue with how many Wave users there are, it’s already been published anyway.

    I agree though, dropping their Symbian users like that was pretty douchey. But that would only mean they’re that serious on cultivating the BADA OS.

    Also please clarify why you say BADA is a year old? I think there’s a difference between a preview/unveiling and an actual launch of an OS in a market, which I think you seem to be confused about. Because if that’s the case, then that would make WP7 almost um 7 months old?

    @asus

    No offense, even if the Samsung Wave is a glorified feature phone, next to the LG Arena, it would look like a god-phone.

  16. salem says:

    wow. 2 million units sold in less than 3 months and they call it a bust. i pity u guys for not having tested the wave/bada. it may not be the perfect os but it’s very promising. the interface is very user friendly. not too long ago i owned a windows mobile 6.0 and it was too damn smart for its own good. u have to navigate a slew of commands to get to where u wanna go and u have the feeling that somehow ur not there yet. a true smartphone is one that does not waste too much of ur precious time. and for that, i thank bada for being the smartest o.s. yet.

  17. Bokoi says:

    @ techfreak
    i agree with you. clearly, frragglerocker and ice3d dont know what they are talking about.

    I own a wave btw, and the only difference i see from Bada against iOS and Android are the apps. nothing more.

  18. ice says:

    I agree with techfreak too. i think it is too early to say BADA or bust for the manufacturer.. The OS is very promising, give it some time and we’ll see what happens

  19. rai says:

    I think the BADA OS is still on beta testing stage. If successful, In a year or two BEDA OS would be open for high end units. BADA OS targeted mid-range units to technically check the consumers response. yah,I guess so..

  20. frragglerocker says:

    @Techfreak: the BADA OS was officially launched December last year (that’s why I said it’s almost a year old). Got the SDK to prove it. Anyway there’s also this link from BADA.COM:

    http://www.bada.com/samsung-launches-open-mobile-platform/

    @Bokoi:

    Some i8910 Omnia owners might disagree with you

    like i said the move is UNDERSTANDABLE but not too sure those who have Samsung Symbian phones would be happy with this, i8910 is not a cheap phone and was released only last year.

  21. Bokoi says:

    @ frragglerocker
    may i ask how many reported i8910 Omnia users were there?

    symbian on samsung is a bust. as for bada, we’ll see next year. for me, it is way better than symbian. but still i would prefer symbian for non touch screen phones. loved my E61i, E63, E71 and E52. boring ui, but works for me. until wave came along.

  22. frragglerocker says:

    @Bokoi:

    why don’t you ask TechFreak regarding Omnia users, he seems to know a lot of stats on Samsung

    samsung dropping symbian is not unexpected, the writings were already on the wall, it’s just surprising how pragmatic it was done

    i agree though that symbian still needs a lot of work to catch-up as a touch ui, hope their latest would be able to address a lot of the previous problems/complaints

    as for me, i’m going android (2.1/2.2)

  23. bing says:

    I think the strategy for Samsung to have their own OS is very potent. In long term you don’t want to be a HW manufacturer for android where the only differentiator is HW design.
    They need it to differentiate themselves from the pack. HTC, Moto, SE, LG and other chinese vendors are competitor with android. These vendors has a very different situation than samsung, they have a very small portion of a pie. They have nothing to lose but everything to gain using android. Samsung has established themselves with a very good distribution channel and give then a head start with bada. I’m not saying that Bada will be the winner but they have a fighting chance and it makes a lot of sense. There will be multiple platforms left standing when this dust settles. That is Symbian+Meego bridge by Qt API, Android, Bada, blackberry and iOS. Poor the vendors that only support android as they will cannibalize each other.

  24. asus g60jx says:

    @techfreak

    i totally agree with your conclusion re: arena vs. the wave. but my point really was that i would rather put my money on an iphone or blackberry than a wave with a halfbaked bada that might not be fully developed if samsung decides to ditch it if they dont get the desired $$$$$$$$$$$$

  25. John DC says:

    i think with bada, samsung is trying to do an Android-like OS, which somewhat goes against the concept of Android which is open source

    it feels like they want to just get a piece of the pie from mobile ap developers

    it’s really hard to see bada flourishing with the same mobile ap market as Android or Apple or even Windows Mobile

    why waste time to develop an ap for an os solely for a single company when you can develop an almost similar one for Android which can be available to a bigger market

    so it’s bust for me

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