Rating: Is this a wise move Captain Mainwearing?
So, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) here has posted the rumour that ambitious smartphone supplier, Samsung, is seriously considering taking it own mobile OS, bada, down the Open Source route. This move makes sense on a whole bunch of different levels. One of the most obvious is that it takes Samsung’s battle to gain top position in smartphone sales right up into it’s arch enemy territory– Google’s. We all know that Android is ‘Open’ and look where that OS has got itself now. Plus, if Samsung has its very own OS then it won’t have to be so scared in battles over IPR (Intellectual Property Rights) which have broken about between the Korean manufacturing giant and California’s finest – Apple. Going ‘Open’ with bada has led to cries of “Is this wise Captain Mainwearing?” from those who point to Nokia’s disastrous experiment with taking Symbian ‘Open’.
The WSJ’s source for this going Open rumour does appear to be relatable. Particularly since he or she dismisses any substance to the suggestion that Samsung might try to buy HP’s webOS to reduce its reliance on Google (Android) and Microsoft (WP7).
Trying to pump up bada makes a great deal of sense now that Google has bought smartphone maker, Motorola Mobility. There must always be nagging doubts that Motorola might get favourable treatment on the latest release of the Android OS front.
There’s a general consensus that taking the Open option will gain a company respect in one of the world’s most important smartphone markets – the USA.
Crack the US market and Samsung would have a really good chance of taking Apple head on. After all the latest figures from Strategy Analytics have put Apple as the Number One smartphone supplier and Samsung at Number Two.
One point that is frequently overlooked is that while these figures make Nokia Number Three smartphone maker, it is still the world leading supplier of mobile phones. But we digress.
If taking Symbian ‘Open’ was such a disaster, why should bada enjoy any success if this happens? GoMo News is firmly behind Colly Myers on this one.
Myers – now of 63336 fame -but previously known as the Grandfather of Symbian, once told GoMo News here that Nokia would have been better off making Symbian ‘developer-friendly’ rather than wasting money on making Symbian Open.
Going open for bada will only work if this means getting whole groups of software writers on its side and improving the OS for free. That will only work if the developer tools are easy to work with.
Incidentally, bada enjoys a 1.9 per cent share of the smartphone sector (with some two million units sold).
By contrast good old Open Android has a 43 per cent share of the smartphone sector – according to figures from Gartner.