Samsung's new smartphone OS: It's Bada news

Another smartphone OS, just what the world needs. And from Samsung, world leader in, what?

Today brings news of Bada, a new smartphone operating system from Samsung, product of corporate fantasy that second-tier brands can really change the world.

"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," said Hosoo Lee, Executive Vice President and Head of Media Solution Center at Samsung Electronics in a prepared statement.

Mr. Lee's comments aside, while Samsung has the ability to spend Bada's way into the world, creating handsets and getting miniscule developer support, the OS will never amount to much.

Why? Because "me too" products from "me too" companies like Samsung never find market-changing success and just crowd the market and confuse customers. Samsung's role is innovating around the edges and meeting price points. There is nothing wrong with that approach and it can work quite well.

However, the world is awash in smartphone operating systems and does not need another one. Even good technologies, like Palm's webOS and Windows Mobile face uncertain futures.

In this regard, let's think about Sony, which seemingly tries to create new ecosystems in every market in enters, sometimes to the detriment of its overall product success.

Its e-reader line is a good example; with Sony only beginning to find success after it abandoned its own standards and began adopting open standards.

Meanwhile, Amazon, a first-tier bookseller, was able to leverage that position into leadership, despite a proprietary format for its books. Brands can only go where customers are willing to take them.

Samsung is a perpetual follower and its attempts at leadership do not ring true and appear motivated more by sales opportunity that advancing technology. Great platforms are created by those who see a customer need or technological opportunity they can develop, not by salesmen.

Bada, which technically is not an OS but rides atop Samsung's proprietary operating system, provides a programming interface for applications developers. Samsung already offers Android and Windows Mobile-based smartphones. Bada phones are promised for 2010, with developer events starting next month in Seoul.

What does Samsung bring to the table? Greed, apparently thinking it, too, should be able to profit from creating its own app store. Doing that, however, first requires an applications platform and so we have Bada.

I think the motivation is wrong. Samsung does not seem to be really innovating to push technology forward, just trying to get into the applications sales. The marketplace, however, recognizes such imposters.

Still, Bada could play in some overseas markets, where other platforms have been slow to arrive. Port Bada to a wide variety of languages and it could gain a foothold and sell, potentially, a bunch of handsets for Samsung.

I do not see a Bada handset in my future (or yours), and wish Samsung would stick to what it knows how to be: A very good second-tier global brand.

Only first-tier brands get to build ecosystems.

David Coursey tweets as @techinciter and can be contacted via his Web site.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Badasamsungmobile phonessamsung smartphonesOSsmartphonesoperating systems

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

David Coursey

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?