Tizen ready to replace Samsung’s Bada OS

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Doesn’t take long to browse the Bada store.

Bada is Samsung’s in-house operating system for low cost smartphones, but its days might be numbered. Tizen 2.0 has been released to developers, with a consumer version likely to be available on phones in the fall.

This Linux-based, open source operating system is also backed by Samsung, along with other major technology players. And that’s the key difference. The burden is distributed across many companies and individual developers who, for one reason or another, invest their time in developing Tizen source code and writing apps to run on it.

Samsung employees at CES in Las Vegas last month were openly speculating that Bada would be phased out in favor of Tizen. Two big benefits: Tizen holds the promise of a much bigger ecosystem of apps and services, and it could scale up to become a viable competitor – technically and in the market place – to Android.

There’s nothing particularly wrong with Bada. I’ve been using it for about six months. My Wave Y phone can handle basics like making calls, surfing the web on the built in Dolphin browser and reading email. But there’s not much variety in the Bada section of Samsung’s app store. It’s also geographically restricted. Samsung doesn’t officially sell Bada handsets in the U.S., although unlocked grey market phones can be found at mainstream retailers like Walmart, which is where I bought mine.

Low cost phones are grabbing the early headlines from Barcelona as Mobile World Congress opens. Open source OSes are a natural match. Swapping Bada for Tizen is the right move for Samsung.

About Steve Blum

Steve Blum is president of Tellus Venture Associates, a management, planning and business development consultancy for municipal and community broadband initiatives. He is a 30-year industry veteran and an expert in developing new broadband infrastructure and services, including wireless, fiber optic and satellite systems. His career includes playing key roles in the launch and growth of DirecTv in the U.S., as well as other satellite broadcasting platforms around the world. For the past ten years, he has helped build municipal wireless and fiber optic broadband systems. His client list includes many California cities, such as San Leandro, Palo Alto, Oakland, Los Angeles, Lompoc and Folsom. He’s a member of the executive team for the Central Coast Broadband Consortium and has worked with other regional consortia in California. Steve is the author of seven books on the Internet and satellite broadcasting and is a frequent contributor to professional journals and industry events. He holds an A.B. in History from the University of California, Berkeley, an M.A. in East Asia Studies from the University of Washington, and an M.B.A. from the University of St. Thomas. He is a triathlete and multiple Ironman finisher, and is currently ranked in the top 100 of the Challenge Triathlon world rankings, out of more than 30,000 athletes.