Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., a leading mobile phone provider, has officially launched its bada platform to the South African developer market. The announcement was made during a bada Developer Day hosted in Johannesburg yesterday. The bada platform, which means ocean in Korean, will be used in phones globally starting this year with the launch of the Samsung Wave, which will be available in the country in the next couple of weeks.
Samsung plans to roll out an application storefront for the platform when it first hits the shelves in the second quarter of 2010. “The Apps Store will be available in 25 countries worldwide at launch and will grow into other countries where there is a Samsung presence, at a later stage. Registration will not be required to purchase applications, and the store will support both credit card and direct carrier billing for payment,” says Brett Loubser, Product Manager Samsung Mobile South Africa.
“As leaders in mobile phones, localising the platform is a vital component for Samsung,” says Loubser. Bada is an open platform, allowing much more flexibility from a developer’s perspective and Samsung has focused heavily on making it user-friendly. “We have gone this route to encourage innovation in application development, as that will ultimately allow for more relevant applications that enhance the consumer experience,” he adds. Samsung is currently speaking to content partners and developers around its plans to roll out the platform locally.
“Samsung is in a unique position at the moment and our objective for the smartphone environment is not only to make it more relevant to a broader audience, but also more accessible,” says Loubser. “Samsung is in a very unique and favourable position right now. We have already been classed as the best hardware manufacturer and have the biggest distribution in the world,” he says. “Our aim is to bring this world-class technology to South Africa with localised content and applications that make sense to the user.”
Through bada, Samsung will provide a total ecosystem for the distribution of applications from sellers to end users. “The ecosystem is based on an open market model,” says Loubser. “The system includes development, a contract, display and sales mechanisms that facilitate sales of applications to a broader audience,” he says. The Samsung Apps Store will allow for easy credit card and non-member purchases as well. “Finally the advanced sorting and filtering functions will allow the end-user to easily find the application that best meets their requirements,” Loubser concludes.