BlackBerrys may still be the corporate device of choice, but that won’t be the case for much longer if Samsung has anything to say about it.
The consumer electronics giant’s Galaxy S IIIs will sport the company’s SAFE (Samsung Approved For Enterprise) branding in an attempt to ingratiate their shiny new Android handset with business types and IT admins. These enterprise-friendly devices will find their way to all five of the carriers that will sell the Galaxy S III (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and U.S. Cellular).
SAFE won’t hold any special significance for a considerable chunk of Galaxy S III owners, but with AES-256 encryption, Exchange ActiveSync, VPN capabilities, and “support for 338 IT policies,” Samsung hopes that their Android flagship will make the same sort of splash in the business sector as it almost certainly will in the consumer market. As the final countdown until the device’s launch commences, it would seem that business customers have already started to vote with their wallets — Infoworld reports that 44% of an unspecified U.S. carrier’s Galaxy S III pre-orders were made by business users.
We’ve seen Samsung make these sorts of overtures to the business community before — the Galaxy Note and Galaxy Tab 7.7 were granted SAFE status at this year’s CES, and much attention was paid to the Galaxy S II’s enterprise friendliness at its big unveiling in New York last year.
Meanwhile, enterprise competitors like RIM have certainly seen better days. After a a brief glimpse at their BlackBerry World event, the Waterloo company is busy trying to drive developer support for their forthcoming BlackBerry 10 operating system. Handing out Dev Alpha devices to every attendee of their multi-day conference is sure to help, but with the mobile enterprise space heating up, RIM needs to fire on all cylinders if they want to maintain their grip on the business market.