Why prepaid could help Samsung’s bada win in the U.S.

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.

That’s asymco’s Horace Dediu this week discussing Canalys’s recent estimate that shipments of Samsung handsets running the Bada platform grew 355 percent in the second quarter over the same period last year. That growth may not be jaw-dropping in context: Bada debuted in June 2010 and has yet to reach the U.S., so we’re not talking about a huge figure to begin with. But it’s clear that Samsung is successfully targeting a market that exists between no-frills mobile services and high-end data offerings. The manufacturer could duplicate that success in the U.S., and prepaid would be an ideal way to bring the platform to market here. For more thoughts on how that could happen, please see my weekly column at GigaOM Pro (subscription required).