The Samsung hedge: Estimating Bada for Q2 and hence Samsung's Android shipments

The number of Bada phones shipped last quarter is not public, however some assumptions can be made that lead to plausible estimates.

First, we know that Samsung shipped about 3.2 million smartphones in Q2 2010 and that total included Bada and Android (and perhaps even some Windows Mobile).

Second, we know that there were about 19.9 million smartphones in Q2 2011.

Third, Canalys published an estimate that Bada grew by 355% y/y.

So if we knew how many Bada phones shipped in Q2 2010 we could derive the current Bada shipments and also realize how many of the nearly 20 million smartphones from Samsung were actually Android.

The clue is in an estimate from December last year that suggested that there would about 5 million Bada shipments in 2010. Coming close to the end of the year, and from Samsung directly, we can be pretty sure the figure is accurate.

Taking this 5 million and spreading it over four quarters could give us enough of an estimate. That makes 1.25 million quarterly units. If we assume some seasonality or increase toward the end of the year, a Q2 figure of 1 million might be more accurate.

Therefore, applying the 355% growth rate yields a Q2 2011 estimate of 4.5 million Bada shipments and hence about 15.4 million Android devices from Samsung last quarter.

Considering the increasing importance of Bada to Samsung, it should be clear that Android is not the only source of growth for the company and its transition of feature phones to Bada as well as Android is a key strategic driver for differentiation vis-a-vis low end entrants.