Samsung Says Nada to Bada for the U.S. Market

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Last October, Samsung, fearful that Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) takeover of Motorola Mobility would take away the Android mobile operating system from it and other phone makers, hinted that its own OS, one called bada, could be a viable alternative OS in the U.S. market.

But for that to happen, two conditions would have to be met. First, one of its U.S. carrier partners would need to offer bada-driven phones, and second, enough bada apps would appear to make the OS become competitive with the Android and Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) iOS ecosystems.

Last week there was strong evidence that the first condition could come about. Verizon (NYSE: VZ  ) CEO Lowell McAdam said if the South Korean electronics colossus threw its weight behind its own mobile OS platform, it could serve as a "dark horse" in the OS battlefield. Using another metaphor from the animal kingdom, McAdam said, "There's a potential elephant in the room with Samsung," as reported by CNET.

That may have just been McAdam's attempt to hedge the bet Verizon has already made with its support of Microsoft's (Nasdaq: MSFT  ) Windows Phone 8 OS and its relationship with Nokia (NYSE: NOK  ) , the company seen as the leading producer of WP8-smartphones.

What a difference a year makes
But things have changed for Samsung; it no longer sees Google as hoarding the Android OS for its own Motorola phones. So it has downplayed any possibility that bada will become anything other than a platform for the cheaper smartphones marketed in Asia.

Responding to McAdam's comments, Kevin Packingham, chief product officer at Samsung, said developing bada as a third ecosystem is "not core to Samsung's strategy." But -- to Nokia's chagrin -- focusing more and more on Windows Phone 8 phones may become that core. The company has already announced its own line of WP8 devices, having undercut Nokia's planned announcement by several days.

The third ecosystem holy grail
Verizon's McAdam said, "The carriers are beginning to coalesce around the need for a third ecosystem," and "over the next 12 months I think ... you will start to see one emerge."

That may or may not turn out to be Windows Phone 8. We know it won't be bada.

In the meantime, the excitement building up over this week's expected introduction of Apple's iPhone 5 underscores the effect Apple has on the whole tech world. To get the full scoop on one of the preeminent names in technology today, grab your copy of the Fool's new premium report on Apple. It comes with a full year of updates, as well as an overview of the must-know opportunities and threats for every Apple investor.

Fool contributor Dan Radovsky owns shares of Nokia. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple and Microsoft. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Apple, Google, and Microsoft, creating a bull call spread position in Apple, and creating a synthetic covered call position in Microsoft. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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  • Report this Comment On September 11, 2012, at 10:11 PM, llIlllIlllIlllIl wrote:

    If Samsung throws its weight behind Windows Phone 8, it would be a tremendous boost for Nokia. Expect a massive increase in awareness and subsequently market share for Windows Phone which would benefit the platform and ecosystem overall. With both the build quality and features of the Nokia Lumia 920 (and new device in March) far better than what Samsung has to offer, the positive effect for Nokia would be enormous.

    And Apple will eventually fade into a has-been status like RIM, with its "new" device being merely a re-hash of the two year old iPhone 4 with a single centimetre added to the display length. Like RIM now, Apple is coasting on an old design and milking the brand. And like RIM they will continue to live in self-denial until they fade into obscurity.

    Expecting at least 200% upside to NOK by this time next year.

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