Samsung Ships Wave Smartphone: First With Bada OS

It may not seem very significant at first glance, but this is a monumental day for Samsung Electronics. While Palm has struggled with getting WebOS to the masses, and Nokia has had to merge Maemo with Intel's Moblin just so MeeGo can have a fighting chance, Samsung is pressing forward with their own mobile OS today. It's a tough world out there for software makers, particularly when you make software designed to compete directly with Windows Phone 7, iPhone OS and Android.

The Samsung Wave represents Samsung's first-ever Bada cell phone. Bada OS is an all-new mobile operating system, designed mostly to be used on high-end touchscreen smartphones. It's icon-driven, and it's plenty capable of handling multi-media and advanced web communications such as e-mail and social networking. The Wave itself is a very striking piece of hardware, and Bada is actually shipping out a few days earlier than anticipated. It's probably a good thing to get out in the open before Apple's WWDC (iPhone OS 4.0 announcement), and the European market is probably an easier egg to crack than the diehard U.S. market.

Starting today, the Wave (S8500) is available for purchase in Europe (Germany, France and the UK), though no specific details on pricing are mentioned. Several carriers in these nations are expected to carry the Wave, while the forthcoming Bada SDK 1.0.0 will ensure that developers have the tools they need to build up a robust app store. Of course, Bada is a little late in the game when it comes to app stores, but the big players need competition more than anything to make sure things don't get stale. After the European launch, Bada will soon spread to Southeast Asia, China, the Middle East and Africa, and Latin America as the Wave ships there. Curiously missing? Any signs of a North American ship date.