Android royalty despair forces Samsung Bada reshuffle

Samsung is gearing up for a new version of Bada as it tries to decrease its reliance on Android in mobile.

A Samsung executive said in an interview that the company is developing a new version of the OS, as both Google and the Korean firm appear to be parting ways, at least a little, despite the success of the Galaxy phones.

Lee Ho Soo, head of Samsung’s Mobile Solutions Center, told Bloomberg that Bada “must continue to evolve”, and that Samsung is doing “a lot of things to provide more for users of Bada”.

A release date hasn’t been set yet, and Lee has not indicated which changes will be made to the existing system.  However, it is thought that a voice recognition tool similar to Apple’s Siri will make an appearance.

But with Google having taken over Motorola with a view to producing its own hardware, it could see Samsung looking to go it alone more with its own software.

Samsung has an incentive to back off from Google’s OS following a royalties deal with Microsoft.  The deal means Samsung has to shell out royalties to Microsoft each time one of its Android phone is sold, not exactly great news for Samsung, though it does get patent protection.

Of course we are not expecting Samsung to jump ship from Android any time soon given the popularity of its devices.  And, indeed, it is hard to see Bada giving Android a run for its money just yet.

However it does seem that Samsung could be loosening its ties somewhat.

According to Ernest Doku, mobile expert at uSwitch, it is no big surprise Samsung is ramping up its own software developments.

“It is understandable that Samsung would be attempting to distance themselves from Android, especially as they do have their own proprietary platform in Bada,” he told TechEye.

However he believes that Samsung’s Galaxy success is too clearly intertwined with Android at the moment: “A lot of Samsung’s recent successes have been down to the Android infrastructure as much as the user experience they have managed to integrate into it,” Doku says.

Doku continues: “The massive popularity of the Galaxy S II as an iPhone alternative has been as much about the Android applications, browsing and mail that are core tenets of Google’s OS as it is the hardware.”

Whether Bada could offer a viable alternative is another question too, he says. “Bada seems to have been relegated to their low-end devices at present, but needs to not only offer a more robust smartphone experience than previous iterations, but also garner the popularity and support of manufacturers, app developers and consumers alike to avoid the fate of platforms such as Symbian.”