Telecom Lead Team: Samsung Electronics is merging its Bada
operating system into a platform backed by Intel, the US chipmaker, to enhance
its software and reduce its dependence on Google’s Android.
Last year, the South Korean group has privately expressed
concern about Google’s $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility last
year, warning of a long-term threat if powerful software producers make their
hardware effectively in-house.
Samsung builds hardware but it relies on Google to run
its smartphone models. Analysts have predicted Samsung will seek to both
diversify its portfolio of operating systems and acquire outside technology.
Bada would be merged into a platform it is building with
Intel called Tizen. Samsung would run its first device on Tizen this year but
cautioned it would not become Samsung’s main platform anytime soon,” Kang
Tae-jin, a senior vice-president at Samsung told Forbes.
Bada currently represents only about 2 per cent of global
operating systems while Android commands more than half the market.
Intel announced at CES 2012 that it was branching into
the smartphone business, with Lenovo due to sell the first device running on
its chips later this year.
Galaxy smartphones which are the main rivals to Apple’s
iPhones helped lift operating profit to $4.5 billion in the final quarter last
year, 73 per cent more than the same period in 2010.