Although Blackberry may be falling behind the likes of Android and iOS, it is still the platform of choice when it comes to business interactions; however, it looks like Samsung is willing to challenge this notion by introducing its enterprise-enabled version of the Galaxy S3, the Korea-based company's flagship smartphone of 2012.
According to The Verge, the Galaxy S3 with Samsung Approved For Enterprise (SAFE) branding will be made available in July. This is designed for bring your own device programs implemented in workplaces, and comes with on-device AES-256 bit encryption, more accurate Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync support, and support for major VPN and Mobile Device Management (MDM) systems such as Cisco or Juniper.
The release date for the SAFE version of the Samsung Galaxy S3 on AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless and U.S. Cellular is said to be July, but no official day has been set by the company. This is the first smartphone in the SAFE program that Samsung had announced last October, pitting the electronics manufacturer against competitors such as LG and Motorola. These companies are also attempting to bump Android in to the enterprise market, reported the Verge.
However, it looks like Android is already dipping into this realm. There's already an app on the market for Android that offers this type of service. Enterproid's Divide app supports the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) mentality in the workplace. Through Divide, users can separate their work from their personal lives on mobile devices. Employees are able to retain their privacy, as IT workers are unable to see apps on the personal persona of the device.
Research In Motion's (RIM) Blackberry sales at the end of the fourth quarter didn't seem too promising for the electronics manufacturer. According to the Financial Times, RIM sold 11.1m Blackberry devices, which is below the 11.2m mark analysts had predicted. This was 21 percent fewer than its third quarter results, making this the fifth consecutive quarter that RIM had missed its revenue and profit forecasts.
However, although sales had seemed bleak, the Blackberry line has remained the top platform choice for nearly half a million federal workers, according to Bloomberg. This includes President Barack Obama, and Blackberry sales are reported to have continued growing within the U.S. Government.
Compared to the enterprise over the last year and a half or so, the federal business on whole is up, Scott Totzke, senior VP of BlackBerry security said to Bloomberg in April. The employee base is shrinking, so if we're looking at a market with fewer employees and our install base is stable to slightly up, that would seem to indicate that we have an increasing market share.
It's tough to say how Samsung's Galaxy S3 SAFE edition will pan out, but this release combined with increasing apps in the market providing BYOD services could heighten competition for RIM. Samsung has already pushed back its release date for the Galaxy S3 for Verizon carriers and in Canadian markets, as the highly-anticipated device has already racked up 9 million in preorders. Users in Canada will be able to purchase the device starting June 27, and Verizon subscribers will get it on July 10.