South Korean handset vendor Samsung released a new operating system in 2009 called Bada. The best way we can describe the OS is to imagine what Android looks like, but slapped upside the head with an ugly stick. That’s not the say that Bada hasn’t sold well. According to the bean counters at Gartner, 1.9% of all smartphones sold in Q2 2011 ran Bada. That’s slightly over 2 million units, which we’re pretty sure is more than the number of Windows Phones that sold during the same quarter. According to The Wall Street Journal, Samsung is planning to take Bada open source at some point in 2012 because … get this, Samsung feels that Google’s acquisition of Motorola makes Android less attractive. Do these guys honestly think that their competitors are going to stop using Android, the world’s fastest growing mobile operating system, and jump onboard the Bada train? Neil Mawston, an analyst at Strategy Analytics, summed up our thoughts on this topic quite nicely:
“Hardware vendor-controlled platforms that move from closed to open do not have a great track record in the past. Nokia failed dismally with Symbian, for example. For Samsung to be successful with opening Bada it will need to be launched in the United States market, because that is where the most powerful developers and consumers are found. If Bada does not get traction in the huge U.S. market, then the odds will be stacked against success.”
How many Bada devices have sold in America? None. Want to know why? It’s because Americans want one of three things: iOS, Android, or a BlackBerry. Bada was created to put on devices that aren’t quite flagship smartphones, but are a bit too advanced to be called feature phones. The results are often unappealing to people with money, since they buy flagship devices, and people without money, because they’d rather get something that’s cheaper.
Do you want/like/love Bada?