Samsung Targets Nokia Symbian Developers

Samsung Electronics is luring developers working on Nokia's Symbian platform to change sides as the Finnish company is to abandon this platform.

Nokia, the world's largest handset maker, said last month it would replace Symbian with Microsoft's Windows Phone to challenge Apple and Google in the fast-growing smartphone industry.

"If you are a Symbian developer unhappy about Nokia's recent announcements, and are hence looking for a new platform to showcase your talents, we say 'Hello!' and 'welcome to bada (operating system),' said a newsletter posted by a Samsung developer on the Internet and quoted in online media.

"If you're new to the bada development, or are moving your app from Symbian, we'd like to welcome you."

Bada is Samsung's own operating system aimed at the low to mid-ranged smartphone market. In the high-end smartphone market, Samsung is pushing the Galaxy S smartphones to challenge iPhone.

Samsung, the world's No.2 handset maker, confirmed the letter was sent to a group of engineers in India, but said it had not initiated strategic hiring from Nokia.

Google and Skype have said openly they are seeking to tap into Finnish engineering talent looking for new jobs following Nokia's announcement.

Earlier this week, Nokia started talks with Finnish employees over its new strategy, which unions fear could cost more than 5,000 jobs in the Nordic country, many of which will be engineers working on Symbian software.

"There are clear similarities between Symbian and Bada for developers," said analyst Geoff Blaber from British consultancy CCS Insight.

"Bada will view Symbian's demise as an opportunity to capture developers. With Android dominating low-tier smartphone development, Bada looks an increasingly attractive alternative if it can accelerate its move down the price curve to fill the Symbian void," Blaber said.

The platform is at the heart of Samsung's drive to boost its smartphone market share, develop new revenue sources from its own Samsung App store, and create synergies with other areas such as its TV business, ranked the world's largest.