Samsung’s Android phones have become a byword for excellence and controversy. The Galaxy range is at the centre of a tense legal battle with Apple, but the likes of the Galaxy S2 remain the last word in Android design and innovation.
So, why is the company pushing on with its proprietary Bada operating system? It’s revealed three new phones: the Wave 3, Wave M and Wave Y, all of which use the OS and on the face of it stand in direct competition to its Android lineup. Here’s five reasons why Samsung feels it’s necessary to keep Bada breathing.
Android has been good to Samsung. But Bada affords the Korean tech titan a level of control which a third party operating system can’t. That means it can roll out software updates easily, keep an eye on app development itself and not have to fret about customer concerns over issues like fragmentation.
Bada doesn’t have the same cache as Android or Windows Phone, but it does give Samsung an option if things do go wrong with either Google or Microsoft further down the line.
2. Cornering the budget market
The spec sheet for the Wave 3 doesn’t read like a budget phone. It has a snappy 1.4GHz processor, a five-megapixel camera and a four-inch Super AMOLED screen. And while Samsung hasn’t revealed official prices yet, this top-end Bada phone will doubtless significantly undercut the top-end Galaxy S2.
Likewise, the Wave M and Wave Y will offer affordable alternatives to the lower end Galaxy Android handsets. These are phones aimed at those who don’t want the whole smartphone experience, but do want a phone that looks good and can access email and the web easily.
3. Looking beyond traditional territories
To the same end, Bada gives Samsung a chance to enter territories where Android and Windows Phone have little or no traction. Reports at the start of this year pointed to Bada booming in China, with its closed app system appealing to the country’s officials.
In a land where the presence of the big players is limited at best, Bada represents a great way for Samsung to make a fortune while developing its own software.
India, also, has seen large Bada uptake. The OS is fast helping Samsung catch Nokia as the world’s biggest handset manufacturer.
4. Unique software
Features like Sammy’s new ChatON messaging service, which appears for the first time on the Wave M, show that Bada is a good testing ground for the more vital range of Android handsets.
The BBM and iMessage challenger aims to bring a new, aggregated way of messaging to Android phones and shows that Samsung is keen to keep challenging in the software space. Expect to see ChatON spread its wings and land on other phones soon.
5. Easy for devs
The centralised store and approval service makes Bada much easier to use for devs, with few worries about having to get apps together for different versions of software, or keeping networks happy.
Samsung is evidently happy to keep Bada’s app options limited, with high quality add-ons rather than stacks of average extras.