Samsung Unveils its First Bada-Powered Phones: Another Drop in the Ocean of Mobile Devices

by Matt Klassen on April 28, 2010

If you thought the mobile OS market was getting a little crowded, with more choices than an all-you-can-eat buffet, Samsung has decided to throw just one more operating system onto the pile with the unveiling of its first bada-powered phones,as Samsung begins it plan to bring the smartphone era to everyone across the globe.

But is the tech world ready for yet another mobile OS? If not, it has till June to prepare itself, as Samsung has set an early summer release for its first four phones on this new operating system.

Although many may be skeptical about whether or not Samsung’s bada-powered devices will discover any lasting success in the mobile market, the Korean tech giant is confident that it can make smartphones available and affordable for the rest of the world. But will Samsung’s bada become a major player, or simply yet another innovative failure like Palm’s webOS, unable to compete with the entrenched incumbent mobile players?

While American telecom and tech companies probably have nothing to worry about from Samsung’s late arrival to the party, this information may be of some interest to companies like Nokia and RIM, both of whom find a significant percentage of their mobile market share generated outside of North America.

In an age where the mobile world is quite possibly seeing the twilight of other innovative operating systems like the wedOS, it just seems natural that something else would step in to fill the growing void, and for Samsung the sky is the limit when it comes to bada’spotential. The name “bada” means “ocean” in Korean, a name 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.”

While it’s great that we all just learned a little Korean, the question remains, what is bada? According to Samsung’s official announcement released last year, bada will offer developers an easier and more open way to develop applications for the growing number of Samsung users the world over. Further, bada will offer both developers and consumers a “diverse mobile experience,” meaning that it will be easy for developers to use and sophisticated and attractive for its end users.

Although Samsung is clearly targeting frustrated Apple developers by finally taking their needs into consideration when creating an OS, it remains to be seen whether bada will be sophisticated enough to attract enough users away from Microsoft’s new Windows Phone 7, the Apple OS 4.0, or the rapidly rising Android. But perhaps it won’t have to compete with these big players in the OS field.

As I mentioned earlier, I don’t believe that bada will catch on anytime soon in North America or Europe, because it’s here where the big boys of the tech world play. But where Samsung might achieve great success is in Asia and the Middle East, where currently Nokia is king.

Despite the fact that Asian technology often outpaces what we have here in North America, for most of the countries throughout that continent, developing a stable wireless network that can support smartphone data traffic is still in its infancy, and if Samsung can find a way to bring the smartphone era to those people still getting used to regular cellphones, bada may actually flourish and become a major player in the world mobile market.

Although Nokia employs is popular Symbian OS worldwide, if bada can give international mobile users the advanced smartphone experience they’ve been wanting, Samsung could clearly give its Finnish rivals a run for their money.

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