Some more bad news for Symbian, we presume. Samsung has decided to create their very own shiny mobile operating system called Bada. ‘Bada’ is the Korean word for ‘ocean’, and while it sounds very pretty, the operative question that leaps to mind on this occasion is ‘WHY’.
Samsung is perhaps the biggest manufacturer of mobile phone devices in the world. It has phones that support all the major operating systems, like Symbian, Android and a few others which we will not even bother to mention. So what on earth is the point of creating their own mobile operating system?
Whatever their reasons may be, the Bada mobile operating system will be descending sometime in 2010. Surprisingly, Samsung is not planning to make the operating system available to other mobile phone manufacturers, but instead keeping the system entirely in-house.
The operating system is going to be open source, according to the Samsung press release. As a matter of fact, the company revealed that developers would be allowed to access internal functions like the dialling mechanism, among others.
We think that there are two perspectives on whether or not allowing access to the internal mechanisms of the phone is a wise decision. Firstly, on the positive side, a developer will be able to create applications that have much greater scope that ones that currently fill the third party application market. With greater manipulation, there can always be greater innovation after all. However, on the flip side, there is the big question of security.
It was not too long ago that computers everywhere were subject to the first generation of viruses. And those mainly came about with the widespread adoption of the Internet. People relied on dialup connections to get themselves onto the information superhighway, which in turn relied on a telephone connection. It spawned an entirely new kind of malware – diallers. Malicious software that used the telephone line to place expensive calls to premium hotline numbers, more often than not, with a sleazy purpose. Telephone bills skyrocketed as a result. While we are certainly not suggesting such a dire outcome for the Bada operated mobiles, the possibility of a small microcosm of that situation is definitely possible.
Of course, Samsung can implement an approval mechanism and a screening process for a Bada app store. But if they do not lock down on installing software that it not approved by Samsung, they are running the risk of a third party app altogether taking over the mobile phone in question. But if they do implement these security measures, they will lose the unique edge they want to establish. It is a fine line to tread; hopefully they will find a way to do it successfully.
Developers will be treated to the SDK (software development kit) for the Bada mobile operating system soon; in fact the projected launch is slated to be sometime in December. Samsung will reveal more about Bada, and their plans for launch, at that time.
Read the company’s press release on their website for more details.