Samsung Hub, an unofficial source that typically publishes reliable content and scoops.Bada, Samsung's own mobile operating system, on track to power around 5 million phones by year-end, has just updated its software development kit (SDK) to version 1.2.1. The update reportedly includes an important new feature: in-app advertising capabilities. The feature, which will allow bada developers to monetize their apps, will go live beginning January 1st, 2011. At least, that's the news coming out of
This news has not been officially published anywhere as far as we can tell, not on Samsung's blogs, Twitter accounts, Facebook pages or in its news rooms. But the updated SDK is available for download now. Samsung Hub, as noted above, is an unofficial, but often accurate, source for Samsung-related information, so we're betting on this news being credible while awaiting official confirmation.
According to the blog post, developers implementing in-app advertising capabilities into their apps will retain all the revenue generated - they will not have to split that revenue with Samsung.
In looking through the release notes for the Samsung bada 1.2.1 SDK, we don't see any mention of "advertising," "ads," "revenue," or anything else that hints at this new feature, though. (Let us know if you spot it, maybe we just missed it.)
It makes sense that Samsung would launch this capability, though - bada-powered phones are selling well...very well, in fact. Considering that the first bada phone, the Samsung Wave, didn't ship until June, and the Wave was the only bada phone available until October, the platform is off to a decent start. Samsung has also noted that it has seen over 50 million downloads of apps from its own app store, too, mostly thanks to bada's popularity.
In addition, with the upcoming bada 2.0 OS, Samsung will add more features to the platform, including a better user interface, Near Field Communication (NFC), a smarter homescreen, SDK support for Linux and Mac, SNS integration and more.
Although bada's numbers are promising, analysts recommend developers consider their options carefully before jumping on board this train. Samsung has not fully committed to the OS, Strategy Analytics analyst Alex Spektor reminded us recently - it also supports Android and Windows Phone 7, for example. However, Samsung is ending support for Symbian as of January 1st, it should be noted, giving the company more time to focus on bada going forward into the new year.