With various mobile operating systems from Apple Inc., Google Inc., Microsoft Corp., Research in Motion Ltd. and The Symbian Foundation to chose from, why should app developers pay attention to Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.’s recent entry into the space?
The key is global distribution, according to Martin Tannerfors, director of the San Jose Mobile Communications Lab, a mobile R&D group for Samsung Telecommunications America LLC.
“There are a lot of players, but if you look across the board at these platforms, they are targeting the same market segment – it’s the high end premium devices,” said Tannerfors in an interview with ComputerWorld Canada at Samsung’s recent Bada Developer Day in Toronto.
Samsung’s new smart phone platform, Bada, targets the mid-market and higher end of the low market instead, he said. “Developers want to reach a global audience, not just the ten per cent who are affluent enough to buy a very premium-end device,” he said.
The Bada Software Development Kit (SDK) is available as a free download and roughly 200 Bada apps are currently available in Canada through the Samsung Apps store.
“Samsung is a very carrier-friendly company,” said Kanghyun Kwon, vice-president of the Content Service Team for the Media Solution Center at Samsung Electronics in Korea. The Bada platform is currently available in more than 85 countries from more than 150 carriers, he said.
Developers that sell Bada apps through Samsung’s app store receive 70 per cent of the revenue and the other 30 per cent is split between Samsung and/or the carrier, said Tannerfors. The 70-30 revenue model applies to all developers worldwide, he said.
“Reaching that distribution through one channel is probably the best feature for developers,” said Tannerfors.
Enabling carriers to use the Bada platform to consume content without requiring a bank account or credit card will also help speed up the adoption and consumption of applications, said Tannerfors, especially in emerging markets where pre-paid services are prevalent.
Another significant part of the Bada ecosystem is the server base, said Kwon.
Adam Smith, CEO and director of experience design at Toronto-based Liquid Reality, said the Bada server is significant because “it actually offloads some processing power to the cloud.” It also “does a lot of integration with location-based services and social,” he said.