Samsung's smartphone operating system: bada


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The smartphone revolution has till now come mostly in three flavors: iOS, Android, and Blackberry. Samsung Electronics’ bada powered smartphones, however, are making a major dent in the market. Samsung’s bada phones are gaining ground on their accessible interface, familiar development environment, competitive prices, and wide app selection.

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Samsung's smartphone operating system: bada

  1. 1. CASE STUDYSamsung’s SmartphoneOperating System: bada CHOI EunjeongSMARTPHONE PLATFORMS ARE IT giants: those that entered the smartphoneCHANGING THE IT LANDSCAPE business successfully went up in the list while those that failed to do so declined. Apple,Smartphones are shaking up the global IT in- which unveiled the iPhone in 2007, jumped todustry as the market grows at the expense of 2nd place in 2011 from 681st in 2001 in terms offeature phones.1 Smartphone sales grew at an market capitalization. Google, not ranked inannual average of 34 percent, from 123 mil- the Global 1,000 companies list in 2001, camelion units in 2007 to 297 million in 2010, and 17th a decade later, with its Android smart-sales are expected to grow 46 percent year-on- phones (manufactured by Taiwan’s HTC)year to reach 630 million in 2012, or 34 per- launched in 2008. In contrast, Nokia, a tradi-cent of the overall mobile phone market. This tional phone powerhouse, plunged from 20thhas led to changes in the rankings of global in 2001 to 273rd in 2011.21 Where “feature phones” refers to all mobile phones other than smart phones2 Global market capitalization figures for 2001 and 2010 are from Businessweek’s “Global 1,000” (published from 1988 to 2004) and Forbes’s “Global 2000” (published since 2003), respectively.84 |
  2. 2. CHOI EunjeongAt the heart of these changes are smartphoneoperating systems (OSes). Mobile phones, whosefunctions have previously been confined to re- bada 2.0 Highlightsceiving texts and calls, have evolved into “hand- bada 2.0 supports applications that make life easier forheld computers” thanks to these new OSes. To- users. It is capable of multi-tasking and voice recognition,day phone users can surf the web, send e-mails, with an advanced user interface framework. Diverseplay games, and shop on smartphones thanks applications are available for communications and multi-to new phones that can run applications as so- media functions, including near field communicationphisticated as the ones on their PCs. Both Apple (NFC),* WiFi Direct,** Push Notification*** and 3D sound.and Google, two of the most successful smart- Developer can build applications based on web standardsphone beneficiaries, have their own operating such as HTML5 and JavaScript. Since the number of applications determines whether a platform is successful, Samsung Electronics has upgraded tools for developers to secure as many apps as possible. Using the Emulator ensures that developers can test in the same environment as the bada OS, while the Performance Analyzer allows them to easily examine the performance of their applications. Moreover, with In-app Ads, developers can insert ads into their apps, helping them secure stable revenue. * NFC is a short-range wireless communications technology that allows simple transactions between devices simply through close proximity. ** “WiFi Direct” is a technology enabling Wi-Fi devices to connect directly to each other at a speed of up to 300Mbps. *** “Push notification” allows an application to notify users of new messages or information without the need to actually open the app. January 2012 | SERI Quarterly | 85
  3. 3. Samsung’s Smartphone Operating System: bada |Figure 1 Smartphone Market Size & Share (in terms of sales) (million units) (%) 700 40 34% 600 30 27% 500 400 19% 20 300 630 14% 11% 11% 468 200 297 10 100 172 123 140 0 0 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 Source: Gartner <>.system: iOS and Android respectively. bada OS has been steadily upgraded since its release. Since its debut to the public at the endbada, SAMSUNG’S OS of 2009, bada has gone from version 1.0 in May 2010 to 1.1 and 1.2, and then 2.0 in August 2011.bada is Samsung Electronics’ homegrown The 2.0 version newly integrates around 3,000smartphone OS. The name bada, meaning application programming interfaces (APIs)3 se-“ocean” in Korean, was chosen to signify lected by feedback from users and developers,boundless opportunities for all. Samsung Elec- and according to the results of technology trendtronics intends to offer users new experiences, analysis. bada 2.0 is now a legitimate competi-while providing developers with a development tor to Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android.environment and market through its bada-pow-ered smartphones and their applications. Its vi- In parallel with its version updates, Samsungsion for bada is “A smartphone for everyone;” Electronics has released bada smartphones andone that provides accessible, easy-to-use, af- applications. It rolled out Wave, the first badafordable smartphones with high-end features 1.0-powered smartphone model in May 2010.(relative to the price). While the smartphone Since then, under its Wave brand, it has releaseduser base is fast expanding from early-adopters six different models powered by bada 1.1 or 1.2,to the general public, unfamiliar interfaces and and three models powered by bada 2.0. Wave 3,high prices remain obstacles. This is where bada one of the latest arrivals, was first unveiled inphones could gain the upper hand among first- France in November 2011. In the meantime,time smartphone buyers with their familiar in- bada applications have been distributedterface, diverse functions, optimized perfor- through “Samsung Apps,” the bada applica-mance, and price competitiveness. tions store, in 120 countries around the globe.3 “API” refers to a set of routines, protocols and tools for building software applications.86 |
  4. 4. CHOI Eunjeong|Figure 2 Wave Phones by bada Version 1.0 1.1 1.2 2.0 Wave Wave 525 Wave 533 Wave 575 Wave 578 Wave 723 WaveⅡ Wave 3 Wave M Wave Y bada 1.x ( 7 phones ) bada 2.0 ( 3 phones )Source: bada <>bada, THE FIFTH LARGEST Android and Apple’s iOS performed well(inSMARTPHONE OS terms of sales volume) in the second and third quarters of this year, while Nokia’s SymbianOne year after its debut and the roll out of ap- and Research In Motion’s (RIM) Blackberryplications, bada has become the fifth-largest lost share during the same period. Samsung’ssmartphone platform in the world. According bada overtook Microsoft’s Windows Mobile toto Gartner, a market research firm, Google’s jump to fifth place.|Figure 3 Wave 3 Applications at Samsung AppsSource: Samsung apps <> January 2012 | SERI Quarterly | 87
  5. 5. Samsung’s Smartphone Operating System: bada |Table 1 World Smartphone Sales to End Users by OS (Unit: 1,000 units, percent) 2Q 2010 2Q 2011 3Q 2011 OS (Manufacturer) Units Market Share Units Market Share Units Market Share Android (Google) 10,652.7 17.2 46,775.9 43.4 60,490.4 52.5 Symbian (Nokia) 25,386.8 40.9 23,853.2 22.1 19,500.1 16.9 iOS (Apple) 8,743.0 14.1 19,628.8 18.2 17,295.3 15.0 Blackberry (RIM) 11,628.8 18.7 12,652.3 11.7 12,701.1 11.0 bada (Samsung) 577.0 0.9 2,055.8 1.9 2,478.5 2.2 Windows Mobile (MS) 3,058.8 4.9 1,723.8 1.6 1,701.9 1.5 Others 2,010.9 3.2 1,050.6 1.0 1,018.1 0.9 Total 62,058.1 100.0 107,740.4 100.0 115,185.4 100.0 Source: Gartner <;>Sales of bada phones skyrocketed to over rise is more notable in that the wins were2,055,000 in the second quarter of this year from achieved in only one year in competition withless than 600,000 a year ago, with market share dominant players like iOS and Android.gaining 1 percentage point to 1.9 percent.Growth momentum continued into the third As bada attracts more users, its ecosystem isquarter—sales grew by 21 percent from the sec- also gradually taking shape. Cumulative salesond quarter to reach 2,478,500 with the market of bada phones, a demand-side indicator, ex-share picking up 0.3 percentage point to 2.2 per- ceeded the 10 million mark, a point generallycent. bada was also classified into a single cate- accepted as successful for a handset model.gory on its own for the first time (previously, it Sales volume was not achieved by a single mod-had been lumped together with other platforms el, as was the case for Samsung Electronics’because of its small market presence). bada’s Galaxy S, demonstrating that a worldwide mar-|Figure 4 bada EcosystemSource: bada <>88 |
  6. 6. CHOI Eunjeongket of more than 10 million applications usersexists.On the other hand, bada’s developer base, a sup-ply-side indicator, is expanding through up-grades, developer support, and the operation ofSamsung Apps. As of November 2011, the num-ber of applications registered at the app store isover 70,000 and the cumulative number ofdownloads over 300 million. More than half theapps registered in and downloaded from thestore are based on bada OS. Given this fact, it isfair to say that the bada ecosystem, consisting ofthe two pillars of application supply and de-mand is now complete. bada is more popular inSUCCESS FACTORS Europe and emergingTargeting of Former Low to markets. J’son &Mid-range Feature Phone Buyers Partners Consulting, abada is more popular in Europe and emerging market research firm,markets. J’son & Partners Consulting, a marketresearch firm, forecast bada would lift its share forecast bada would lift|Figure 5 Key Success Factors its share from 3.8 percent in 2010 to 13.5 percent of Targeting of for- the Russian market in mer low to mid- range feature phone buyers 2011. Fifth most Differenti- Localized widely used ated developer applications smartphone incentives OS Technological lead in mobile platforms January 2012 | SERI Quarterly | 89
  7. 7. Samsung’s Smartphone Operating System: bada |Figure 6 bada’s Share in the Russian Market 8.3% 2.4% 3% 2% 2% 3% 15.4% 5.0% 4% 4% 5% 6% 26..3% 4.5% 10% 11% 3.8% 13.5% 15% 2.8% 16% 6.0% 11.4% 17% 25% 0.8% 33.9% 37% 45% 81.2% 71.6% 66.7% 67% 45.1% 58% 42% 30% 2008A 2009A 2010A 2011E 1Q 2Q 3Q 4Q 2011A 2011A 2011E 2011F WM Apple bada Android Symbian Source: bada’s Russian blog <>from 3.8 percent in 2010 to 13.5 percent of the others do on their more expensive smartphones.Russian market in 2011. By then, it will be be- A survey found that 90 percent of bada phonehind Symbian (45.1 percent) and Android (33.9 owners in France had used feature phones pre-percent), but ahead of iOS (5 percent) and Win- viously.5dows Mobile (2.4 percent). In the first quarter of2011, it took up 10 percent of the market, which Differentiated Incentives forrose to 11 percent and 15 percent in the two suc- Developersceeding quarters, and is expected to rise furtherto 16 percent in the fourth quarter. Kantar One of bada’s biggest strengths is its use of C/Worldpanel ComTech’s consumer panel showed C++, the most widely used programming lan-that in the second quarter of this year, bada ac- guages for several decades. This allows C/C++counted for 11.2 percent of the market in programmers to easily jump into the develop-France, 4.1 percent in Germany and 3.6 percent ment of bada applications. bada’s support ofin Italy, hovering at a global market share of 1.9 web standards, including HTML5, JavaScript,percent as estimated by Gartner.4 and the Wholesale Application Community (WAC), is also a significant attraction for web-bada phones are popular in areas where feature based applications developers. Web-based ap-phones are still the norm because they provide plications have significant growth potential be-users with a smartphone experience at an af- cause they run on any OS or device with a webfordable price. In France, iPhones sell at €163 browser.and Android phones at €71, but bada phonesonly cost €47. bada phone owners can browse The second incentive for developers is bada’s di-the Internet and install applications just like verse promotional events. bada Developer Day,4 Guardian <>5 <>90 |
  8. 8. CHOI Eunjeong |Table 2 Programming Languages by Smartphone OS Ranking by number of developers OS (Manufacturer) Languages Release Year 1996 2006 2011 bada (Samsung) C/C++ 1972/1983 1/2 2/3 2/3 Android (Google) Java 1995 5 1 1 iOS (Apple) Objective C 1983 - 42 5 Windows Mobile (MS) C# 2001 - 8 4 Source: TiOBE <>a showcase for developers, was held in 40 coun-tries in 2010 and is scheduled to be held in 18countries this year. bada applications develop- AlloCinement contests have been held both locally and AlloCine is a free movie guide application available inglobally since 2010. The Global Developer France. It provides access to 80,000 films, filmographiesChallenge 2010, in particular, attracted 2,077 in- for 350,000 actors/actresses, high quality movie trailers,dividuals or corporate teams from 54 countries and a GPS-based theater finder. In the future, a databasewho competed for $2.7 million in cash prizes. of about 6,000 TV shows and ticket buying in advanceThe bada 2.0 Power App Race is now being will be available on the app.held globally for bada 2.0 developers.Samsung has a support program for developers, TV and movie guide apps were ranked first andan incentive that is not available if they develop third for some time in France, respectively.apps for other platforms. In the program, indi- Train schedule applications topped the list in It-vidual developers or small firms can borrow aly, followed by movie and recipe apps. In thenecessary devices after a simple evaluation pro- Middle East and parts of Eastern Europe,cess, and access free one-on-one services if they Quran and prayer apps for Muslims are popu-face difficulties while developing apps. To sup- lar, and in China, a country with vast land, por-port the developer community, Samsung oper- tal apps offering regional information have be-ates an “Ocean Center” in Korea where devel- come popular. This popularity is a result ofopers can secure office space, devices, training Samsung’s commitment to tailored apps thatopportunities, and other necessary support. reflect each country or region’s distinctive cul- ture and lifestyle.Localized Applications What is more notable is the quality of the apps.In countries with a high percentage of bada us- Unlike Google’s Android Market, Samsungers, localized applications rank higher in Sam- Apps offers tested and proven apps only, in-sung Apps’ most popular apps list. For instance, creasing the public’s awareness of bada apps as January 2012 | SERI Quarterly | 91
  9. 9. Samsung’s Smartphone Operating System: badaa “necessity with proven quality”. This, in turn as a multipoint touch screen, 3D graphics, anencourages the use of bada apps and the pur- enhanced user interface (UI), and applicationchase of bada phones. downloading/installing. In other words, bada was built upon SHP, the DNA for success ofThe development and distribution of applica- Anycall, Samsung’s most successful mobiletions determines the viability of a smartphone phone brand, based on expertise in mobile plat-OS. Given this, the popularity of locally-spe- forms the company accumulated over the lastcialized apps can serve as the main locomotive decade.for bada OS in its rise in the global smartphonemarket. OUTLOOK & IMPLICATIONSTechnological Lead in MobilePlatforms The outlook for bada is bright. Google’s acqui- sition of Motorola Mobility last August raisedThe origin of bada dates back to 2000 when the possibility that the global IT giant willSamsung Electronics’ software center devel-oped the Mocha (Modular & Configurable |Figure 7 Samsung’s Proprietary Mobile PlatformsHandset S/W Architecture) mobile platform.Mocha was capable of 3G video calls in the ear-ly 2000s when 2G was the mainstream mobiletechnology. The platform played an essentialrole when Samsung Electronics launched thefirst 3G handset (SGH-Z100) in Europe in 2003. MochaAfter that, Samsung rose from being a minorplayer to a leader of 3G mobile communica- SGH-Z100 (2003)tions in the region’s mobile communications First 3G mobile phone in Europemarket. This provided the opportunity for theglobal mobile industry to recognize Samsung’stechnological expertise in mobile platforms.Later, Mocha evolved into SHP (SamsungHandset Platform), one of the company’s major SHPmobile platforms. SHP was used for 50 to 60million handsets (25-30 percent) out of 200 mil- ‘Star’ GT-S5230 (2009) Sales of over 30 millionlion units the company produces a year. Benz(SGH-Z500), Soul (SGH-U900) and STAR (GT-S5230) are examples of such mobile phones. Sofar, STAR has sold over 30 million units, nextonly to E250 in the list of best-selling mobilephones by Samsung Electronics. badaSHP, a platform that spearheaded Samsung’s ‘Wave 3’ GT-S8600 (2011)spectacular success in the mobile phone busi- Powered by bada 2.0ness, led to bada, with augmented features such92 |
  10. 10. CHOI Eunjeonglaunch a hardware manufacturing business. ties for the expansion of the Android OS. Still,Samsung Electronics who had until then de- this does not mean that bada is immune to allpended heavily on the Android platform, re- patent infringement possibilities. Before open-sponded by announcing its intention to use ing bada, the company has to scrutinize all pos-bada more aggressively to build a major smart- sibilities and clear the way for bada throughphone platform. Although the bada platform is cross-licensing and other measures.not open to other handset manufacturers at Translation: BYUN Ha-Napresent, over the long term, the company plansto supply it for free to grow its business. Keywords bada, smartphone operating system, bada phones,In this rapidly changing smartphone market, iOS, Android, BlackberrySamsung needs something unique to realize itsambitious plans for bada. Above all, it needs tohave superior technology to compete with rivalson performance, rather than price. So far, thecompany has overcome bada phones’ relativelylow performance by strategically positioningthem as low- to mid-end devices, achieving ameasure of success. Nevertheless, it needs to ad-just this strategy as cheap smartphones quicklycome online. Samsung needs to upgrade badainto a dual core platform that can handle multi-tasking and HD video as quickly as possible,while developing bada’s distinctive features.Second, the company should further expandthe bada ecosystem. Some say the bada ecosys-tem has already entered the stabilization stagethanks to the continued increase in the sales ofdevices and the number of bada apps. Critics,however, point out that the ecosystem has notbeen fully activated and is not used by manycompared to iOS or Android. Accordingly,Samsung has to consider integrating bada OSnot only into its handsets but into other elec-tronic devices it produces as well, including TVsand cameras.The last factor to consider is the possibility ofpatent lawsuits if the company opens bada toother manufacturers. Unlike Java-based An- CHOI Eunjeong is a research fellow at SERI. Her current re-droid, bada is free from Java-related patents search focuses on software and services in the area of Informa- tion and Communications Technology. She holds a PhD in In-held by Oracle, who has demanded royalties of dustrial & Systems Engineering from KAIST. Contact: eunjeongc.$15-20 for each Android phone, causing difficul- January 2012 | SERI Quarterly | 93