Samsung to make Bada OS open-source

Samsung plans to make its Bada smartphone operating system open-source, providing third-party developers access to the source code and enabling other manufacturers to build handsets and tablets based around the OS, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

According to the source quoted in the article [paywalled], Samsung plans to open up the OS next year.

The currently-proprietary OS, which is available on Samsung's Wave 3, Wave M and Wave Y handsets, has so far proved a poor also-ran next to the market leaders, Google's Android and the Apple iPhone's iOS.

Other operating systems that have floundered in the wake of the Big Two include HP's webOS - the operating system behind the massive-selling discounted and now-discontinued TouchPad tablet - and Nokia's MeeGo.

Competition from Apple and Android also lies behind the Finnish mobile maker's decision to jump ship from its established but long-in-the-tooth Symbian platform, and carve out an agreement with Microsoft to develop handsets for the software giant's Windows Phone 7 OS.

By doing so the company may breathe new life into Bada by attracting fresh developer talent to improve the range of apps available to the platform's users. The move will also help to make Samsung less reliant on Android for its smartphone output, after CEO Choi Gee Sung recently denounced rumours that Samsung was considering buying HP's webOS platform.

Android has been the target for a wave of patent litigation from iPhone and iPad maker Apple, which has sought to go after device manufacturers rather than face off against the considerably legal muscle of Google - and Samsung has been in the firing line, with its Galaxy Tab 10.1, Galaxy smartphones and Galaxy Tab 7.7 both banned in parts of the world.