Samsung is wrapping up Bada smartphone development efforts. Platform end of life in about a year

Samsung is wrapping up the development of Bada smartphones, with platform’s end of life coming in about a year, says Mobile-Review.com’s Eldar Murtazin.

According to Eldar, there will be no platform termination announcements, promised support and subsidies for Bada app developers will continue until the very end. However, most of the Bada people and resources have already been, or will very soon be reassigned to work on Android and other more promising projects. We will see the gradual reduction of Bada device line-up, until they disappear from the market in the first half of next year.

While pretty ambitious, Bada was just one of the products/directions for Samsung to get in to the exploding smartphone market in 2010.

Samsung has been a #2 mobile phone vendor for a long time. And it was dabbling in smartphones with Symbian and Windows Mobile devices, for years. But until 2009-2010, when it became clear that smartphones are here to stay and are already taking over the most profitable high-end feature phones, Samsung wasn’t really serious about them. First it tried to make the old style Symbian and WinMo smartphones work with Omnia line. When those platforms proved inadequate, Samsung abandoned them, created Bada and started working on Android.

The success of the first Galaxy S, even bigger Galaxy S2 and the lackluster performance of the Wave phones, sealed the fate of Bada already in 2011. Samsung was always very good at throwing things at the wall, seeing what sticks and running away with it. And doing it in very pragmatic way. If the sales/traction isn’t there – the stuff gets left behind. The things that do work get all the resources, attention and investment. Frankly – I am surprised that Samsung’s Bada experiment lasted this long. But it was a good learning exercise – with experience gained now becoming part of Android’s TouchWiz and other Samsung smartphone efforts.

And Bada will probably become the foundation of a major software and services effort Samsung is engaged now, in its bid to beat Apple in smartphone profits.

Author: Stasys Bielinis

While I like to play with the latest gadgets, I am even more interested in broad technology trends. With mobile now taking over the world - following the latest technology news, looking for insights, sharing and discussing them with passionate audience - it's hard to imagine a better place for me to be. You can find me on Twitter as @UVStaska'

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  • Maxt

    I guess phasing out a platform without an official announcement is the smarter way to go about it; rather than announcing that the platform is going to be killed and destroying current sales.

  • Dfdfdfdf

    Eldar Murtazin? Who ?
    Is it trusted source ?

  • Anonymous

    What?! But didn’t they sell over 10 million bada phones in 2011?! What on Earth???

    Come on, Samsung. You guys had so much potential in this product line! 

  • Anonymous

    :(

  • http://www.staska.net Staska

    Nope. They Samsung planned to ship 10 million Bada phones in the first half of 2011. The actual sales fell short of expectations, with only 5 million shipped between January and September 2011. And with sales slowing down as market was growing. 

    Compared to Samsung Galaxy shipments – this was peanuts, while probably requiring higher investment in software R&D. 

    At this point there’s no reason for Samsung to further push and heavily invest in Bada.  Or Tizen for that matter. Getting them off the ground may require Microsoft level of commitment and investment, in the areas where Samsung has little expertise. 

    And what’s the point? If they ever have a falling out with Google, or finally develop their software know-how to the level where they feel they can go independent route – they can always fork Android. As Amazon has shown – it’s not that hard to do. 

  • Anonymous

    I’ve been hearing that point come up–forking Android. I’m not too clear on the details. So as an Android licensee, Samsung has the freedom to basically do whatever it wants with Android with a few limits. 

    The moment there’s a falling out, doesn’t that mean Samsung’s kind of screwed? What if Google starts prioritizing Motorola for earlier updates to the OS on top of optimizations?

    I was personally hoping Samsung would buff up Bada and make it a backup alternative to Android. Guess that’s not happening!!

  • http://www.staska.net Staska

    Licensing has nothing to do with forking. Actually licensing prevents it from happening. 

    But Google does not license Android code per se. It releases the code of most Android versions (except Honeycomb) under opensource licence – everyone is free to take that code and do with it what they like, without asking any permission from Google. Which is what Amazon did with the open source version of Android 2.3 on Kindle fire. 

    The Android licensing agreements between Google and OEMs like Samsung or Motorola are mainly about the right to use Android trademark, and put Google mobile apps suite on the devices. To ship your phone with apps like Android Market/Google Play, Search, Maps, Gmail, etc; you have to pass Android compatibility tests get approval from Google. 

    But if Samsung decides to go on their own, drop all Google apps and use its own or Amazon app market, Bing for search, its own e-mail client, Nokia Maps or OpenMap for navigation – they could release next Galaxy with ICS version of Android tomorrow, without any approval from Google

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the clarification. But what happens to Google apps such as Gmail, Calendar, Google docs (not clear on whether they have this for Android), etc? And Google Drive? Would a forked version of it for Samsung still be able to use those even without having Google Play Store accessible? 

  • http://www.staska.net Staska

    Depends on how much of then current version of Android is forked. Whether those apps are still compatible. But if they are – you should be able to find and install those apps somewhere. Whether it’ll be as straightforward as going to Samsung app store and downloading them, or whether you’ll have to hunt for .apk files -that depends on what Sammy and Google agree on. E.g – Google may still want to have its search as default, and then allow Drive app in Samsung’s market. 

  • Anonymous

    Ah, so a compromise solution. 

    Makes sense. If it gets to that point, things should get interesting. 

  • http://www.sonyphones.net/ John

    Yes, I am interested in what will happen with the Google Drive:(((

  • http://www.facebook.com/hritikbhimani Hritik Bhimani

    oww…..thts pretty bad….my wave is just 9 months old…..@Staska:disqus  i have seen UI demo of tizen 1.0 larkspur….it looks a lot like bada 2.0 which confirms the merger between tizen n bada…whts the possibility of it landing on my wave 2?? n ya i m tired of this question but what exactly is the total RAM of wave s8500 n s8530 …samsung never realy revealed it :(

  • Gurunath Satam

    Same here Hritik…my wave 2 is also just 10 month old,bought it hoping it will get Bada 2.0 in July,2011….But,got Bada 2.0 after 8 months.Hoping,Samsung will provide next update (Bada + Tizen) to Wave 2 also if they are actually worikng on it.and i am also 
     tired of t same question but what exactly is the total RAM of wave s8530…

  • http://www.facebook.com/hritikbhimani Hritik Bhimani

     yeah man…..bada 2.0 is a disapoointment as well….i m having ever more memory bugs n lags…bada 1.2 was more fluid …its like samsung is just not optimizing bada to work with resources ….every now n den,even on single webpage wid moderate content i m geting ‘not enugh memry errors” …

    i still regret my decision of buying a wave 2…fell for rich design n almost similiar galaxy s hardware ….wish xperia neo v was available 9 mnths ago @ 15-16k price :(

  • http://www.facebook.com/hritikbhimani Hritik Bhimani

     announcing death of symbian was the most stupid thing elop did….samsung is smart enugh not to do it

  • Gurunath Satam

    Yes,now 
    xperia neo v  and HTC one V available  at same price. Windows 7.5 Mango would have been better choice than Bada, at-least Microsoft is pushing their software to greate extend.Samsung is just lying  and lying…hopefully they will give next updated to Wave 2 also.