Samsung eyes a Bada future

Samsung will reportedly open up its indigenous mobile software platform to external devs and device manufacturers sometime in 2012.

The move, which signals Samsung’s determination to move ahead with Bada, also indicates that the corporation is eager to reduce its reliance on Google’s Android operating system for both tablets and smartphones. 

As Jung-Ah Lee of the Wall Street Journal points out, the move to accelerate Bada’s development comes just a month after Mountain View announced plans to acquire Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion.

To be sure, a number of analysts have speculated that the deal is likely to negatively affect handset makers who use Android – as support from Google could potentially lag in the longer term. 

Clearly, Samsung has big plans for Bada, as the company plans to transform the versatile OS into a platform which can also be used to power smart TVs.

“Samsung, the world’s largest technology company by revenue, is traditionally strongest in hardware development,” wrote Lee.

“By opening the Bada platform to external developers, Samsung is taking a similar route as Google, which allows software engineers outside the company to adapt and modify the source code for Android for free.”

However, Neil Mawston of Strategy Analytics cautioned that the path of moving from a closed platform to an open OS was fraught with difficulty and prone to losses.

“Nokia failed dismally with Symbian, for example. [So] for Samsung to be successful with opening Bada it will need to be launched in U.S., because that is where the most powerful developers and consumers are found. If Bada does not get traction in the [States], then the odds will be stacked against success,” explained Mawston.

“[Yes], in theory, it makes sense to turn Bada into a multiplatform operating system because that will increase the total addressable market for service developers. But in reality, it is not yet fully clear whether Bada can scale up to bigger displays.”