Samsung is entering the insanely crowded space of luring mobile developers to build applications for their phones. While Samsung has tried to attract developers before, the Korean-based handset maker unveiled a new open mobile platform today that takes it to the next level. Release.
Samsung is calling the platform bada, which means ‘ocean’ in Korean, and will release it sometime in December. The details are a bit murky right now, but it’s a sort of user interface that can run across all of Samsung’s low-end handsets. The platform will enable developers to create applications that will be able to tap into feature, like the calendar, address book and dial-pad and in that respect is an attempt to bring high-end features to less expensive phones that have historically been difficult to develop for because of their proprietary nature.
Samsung said it will release an SDK to developers, so that they can build their applications that will be based off of Web services. In addition, Samsung is pitching the platform to operators, by saying that the user-interface is an easy way to integrate “unique and differentiated” services to their customers.
Even though Samsung has massive global scale, it still may be difficult to get attention with all of the noise going on right now. For instance, developers have plenty of options today when it comes to building applications for other fairly open ecosystems, including Apple’s, Nokia’s, RIM’s BlackBerry, Microsoft’s Windows Mobile and others. Even feature phones have a number of common languages, including Brew and Java. This program could also change the way the lower-end market works, where developer pitch carriers directly and then the carriers resell the apps and take a percentage of the revenues. This may put Samsung in the driver’s seat.
Samsung said it will officially launch the platform and the software developer kit at an event in London next month. It will also host a number of developer days, a developer challenge and open a corresponding app store.