Businesses want to have a certain level of control over the smartphones their employees bring into work environments. This means vendors which cater to these kind of needs, through dedicated management tools and software designed to isolate personal and work content, are more likely to get on their good side, and grab significant enterprise market share in the process.
South Korean maker Samsung offers a BYOD-friendly solution that is meant for its top Android devices. Called Knox, it received two major revisions, the most-recent of which was unveiled at MWC 2014 in February, since its introduction more than a year ago. It has been made available for devices like the Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3. And, today, Samsung announced Knox (albeit in its latest iteration, version 2.0) also greets the Galaxy S5.
"Knox has been widely deployed by enterprises since it became first commercially available in the market in September 2013", says Samsung CEO JK Shin. "As a result of this rapid adoption, we needed to evolve the Samsung Knox platform to directly address the ever-changing needs of the enterprise as we demonstrate our commitment to protect and respond to future enterprise mobility and security challenges".
Knox 2.0 offers security and flexibility improvements, support for Google Play apps inside containers and much greater control over installed software for IT admins, as well as other changes. It comes alongside an SDK (Software Development Kit) meant to allow business users to tailor the BYOD solution to their needs, and the Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) tool and Marketplace (app store for Knox and SaaS solutions).
The Galaxy S5 is likely to be Samsung's sole smartphone flagship for a year (the Galaxy Note 4 will take the flagship title on the phablet side), with huge sales potential if the performance of its predecessors is of any indication. Enabling Knox 2.0 as soon as possible gives the South Korean maker a better chance of seeing business users quickly adopting its new smartphone and viewing it as a vendor committed to enterprise clients. The latter would give Samsung the opportunity to become the new BlackBerry in this market.