Although most of Samsung's phones, like the wildly successful Samsung Galaxy S2, oversized Samsung Galaxy Note and Ice Cream Sandwich-sporting Samsung Galaxy Nexus, are powered by Android, Forbes reports Samsung is merging the two Linux-based operating systems for new phones this year.
Bada is Samsung's low-end smart-phone operating system, launched in early 2010 and successful in non-Western markets.
Tizen is the open-source operating system that arose from the ashes of MeeGo, the ill-fated OS developed by Nokia and Intel. It only appeared on the Nokia N9, which never made it to these shores -- and in fact now looks to have been primarily designed as a dry run for the Nokia Lumia 800 and Nokia's Windows Phone range.
Despite holding Windows Phone, MeeGo and Symbian, Nokia has decided it still doesn't have enough operating systems in its hand. Late last year the Finnish phone-fashioner also bought Norwegian OS Smarterphone, which is designed for budget phones. It remains to be seen whether Smarterphone will appear on cheaper Nokia phones, or Nokia simply wanted the expertise of the people behind it.
Bada, MeeGo and other minority operating systems need to sell in numbers if they're to survive. There's a vicious circle in the mobile software, wherein people only buy phones that have a decent selection of apps, but app developers only make apps for systems where they can make money. Google's Android and Apple's iOS have sold lots of phones so attract developers, while other app stores are further down the list of things to do. Check out our comparison of the best app stores.
Both Bada and Tizen are based on Linux. Samsung wants to make it easy for Bada developers to build Tizen apps, and work is already underway on ensuring existing Bada apps are compatible with the new OS.
Samsung is reportedly planning one or two Tizen devices this year.