According to new reports surfacing today, Samsung has decided to completely refocus its smartphone development in order to compete in the next year, with a renewed and increased focus in Windows Phone as well as increasing its already sizable investment in Android.
The move to kill Bada isn’t unsurprising, as it was intended to be an internally developed operating system for release in emerging and developing markets where operating systems such as Symbian and Series 40 had a major foothold before the price of hardware collapsed to the point where deploying low-end Android smartphones was not only more cost-effective, but more likely to drive sales, as Bada was treated internally as a stopgap measure. The first wave of devices in the Wave 3, Wave M and Wave Y also represented low-end, mid-range and high-end possibilities for the platform when they were announced last year.
Another reason to kill off Bada is resource management, as Samsung is currently riding high as the second largest smartphone manufacturer after displacing Nokia earlier this year and likely decided to end Bada development in order to focus on the platforms that are making the most sense in terms of profits and have the most potential which explains its decision to focus on Windows Phone 8, a platform with improved potential due to its increased hardware support and Android, due to the fact that it can now scale Android smartphones all the way down to entry level devices with dual SIM support all the way up to high-end with the Galaxy S III.
However, Tizen is a different story entirely. Created in response to the failure of the Nokia/Intel collaboration in MeeGo, Samsung’s Tizen debuted to much fanfare last year only to languish in relative silence until now, with developers making repeated calls for Samsung to provide better tools and more transparency regarding the status and direction of the currently stillborn platform.
Currently the platform is barely mature enough to be considered in beta, yet Samsung has pledged a 2013 release for the first device powered by Tizen, which would put it in direct competition with Mozilla’s carrier backed Firefox OS smartphone initiative, an initiative that is already showing signs of doing exactly what Samsung intended with Tizen, if Samsung actually took the initiative seriously at the outset instead of just paying lipservice to developers and leaving them hanging with incomplete tools and resources. Reports also state that developers already have Tizen 1.0 devices in hand, devices that were supposed to see release earlier this year. with the main issues centering on lack of communication from Samsung.
With these changes now in play, Samsung has given up on developing its own in house initiatives in favor of sheer scale. Whether its enough to maintain its position as the number 2 manufacturer remains to be seen, as Samsung can’t simply ride its size to remain competitive, it must also improve its software integration with its hardware in order to remain successful. Whether its first Tizen phone can do that is anyone’s guess, if its next Android and Windows Phone 8 flagships don’t do it first.