From comparatively humble beginnings, Samsung – always South Korea’s premier electronics company – has managed to diversify into the Smartphone industry with greater success than virtually all of its competitors. Though rivals like RIM and Sony are falling by the wayside (with respective first quarter sales of approximately 11 million and 7 million), Samsung have managed to supersede even Apple in the realm of Smartphone shipments. In the first quarter of 2012, Samsung shipped 43 million Smartphones to Apple’s 35 million: together, the two powerhouse corporations boast more than 50% of overall Smartphone sales – and over 90% of Smartphone profits, considering the top-end spec of much of their merchandise. Amongst Google’s loose “coalition” of Android Smartphones, Samsung is surely their most valuable companion. In addition to providing good press for the Android OS due to strong sales and superb hardware, Samsung is one of the few companies to serve as a credible threat to Apple’s continuing supremacy. If Samsung can absorb substantial Smartphone sales from the Apple leviathan while companies like Microsoft (with their forthcoming tablet computer) belay them elsewhere, Google could deliver a serious blow to their most dangerous competitor and boost the profit potential of the Android market. However, Samsung – like Apple – are a company that like to stand on their own two feet, and it’s no surprise that they’re contemplating the possibility of utilizing their own operating system, the heretofore underdog Bada, as a viable alternative to Android for Samsung’s budget Smartphones. This isn’t a particularly substantial rift in the two company’s fortunes. While Bada has the potential to steal some of Android’s thunder (and thus risk diluting the essential two horse race between the iOS and Android), the fact it’s designed with budget Smartphones in mind means that it will essentially act as a ‘gateway’ OS to draw in new customers, who may not be attracted to expensive, high end tour de forces like Samsung’s Galaxy S3. Samsung are also considering combining the base Bada system with the open-source Tizen OS; as another system which is not intended to upset the balance between Android and iOS (and as one which attracts third party developers courtesy of its freely-distributed nature), Tizen should add the muscle which Bada has so far sadly lacked. It’s a savvy business decision from Samsung; they won’t be upsetting the proverbial apple cart, but simultaneously they’ll be setting the groundwork for a day when their own operating system is poised to take a chunk of the market. And with Tizen’s developers on board (along with the developers who helped develop the MeeGo system, swathes of which were appropriated for Tizen), Samsung are guaranteed at least some success in the arena of third party development, ensuring a healthy library of applications on launch. We’re fairly confident that Samsung will be launching at least one Bada/Tizen Smartphone this year; though the cost of developing software like this may be prohibitive under normal circumstances, Samsung’s healthy financial future means that it’s impossible to rule it out entirely!