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The iPhone 5 launch on Wednesday, Sept. 12, is sure to be the most important event for tech investors this year. The Motley Fool will be hosting a live chat where our top tech analysts will answer your questions and break down what the announcement means for Apple and tech investors everywhere. Be sure to swing by Fool.com at 12:45 p.m. ET tomorrow for all your coverage of Apple's next big announcement.
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.