Eariler this week, Samsung anounced that they were creating their own mobile operating system called bada. The company made a commitment to Android earlier this year and already has phone running Symbian and Windows Mobile.
Samsung’s reasoning behind creating yet another mobile os was that it ofered ‘an easy-to-integrate platform…so that mobile operators can provide unique and differentiated services to their customers’. But in terms of developers, surely they have a problem? First Apple rolled out the app store, followed by Android Market, Blackberry and most others. So in business terms it would seem sensible to open up your OS to allow developers to create their own apps.
Unfortunately, it is only a sensible if you assume an unlimited supply of developers willing to create across every platform. And when it comes to branded apps, will companies and agencies be willing to spend on development for an additional platform? I very much doubt it.
From Samsung’s perspective, they have plenty of low-cost developers for many different platforms (LCD TVs to fridges). In their key markets in Asia, they almost rival Nokia and they have had a tradition of developing for most mobile OSs.
Whilst competition can be good, fragmentation in the mobile market is generally not very good.