Can Samsung out-Apple Apple in BYOD?

Summary:Can the Galaxy S4 help Samsung shake Apple's hold on the mobile enterprise?

Matt Baxter-Reynolds

Matt Baxter-Reynolds

Yes

or

No

Matthew Miller

Matthew Miller

Best Argument: Yes

77%
23%

Audience Favored: Yes (77%)

The moderator has delivered a final verdict.

Opening Statements

Samsung can provide what enterprises need

Matt Baxter-Reynolds: At the moment, Apple is an especially important device within the market of professionals who want to bring their devices into the work environment, simply because Apple does and has for a long time appealed to that demographic.

The real question is: If this dominance slips and Samsung has more of a representation in that demographic, is Samsung able to play nicely? Firstly, I do think iPhone will be challenged by Samsung in the near future, with a possibility of challenging the iPad a little further out. Samsung's devices are starting to get very interesting and mature.

Secondly, yes, I think Samsung can provide what enterprises need, and therefore can get on approved lists for BYOD support. The company's recently introduced Knox is one example of what they're doing. Moreover, I believe they will do everything to rise to the challenge. Samsung knows it has an opportunity and is spending and behaving like an aggressive player in all markets. Enterprise is just another market opportunity to them alongside consumer, government and education.

Android still seen as too open

Matthew Miller: My small company is a BYOD organization, for smartphones, and my last survey shows 75% of employees are bringing the iPhone. The IT folks seem to like it because it is a tightly controlled OS and it is easy for them to explain how to lock and wipe devices for basic security measures.

Samsung is attempting to make a stronger move into the enterprise space by including Knox and SAFE technology. I see a lot more advertisements for their business security features and they may eventually gain momentum here.

However, Android is still seen as too open for many companies and there has been a lot of press around malware and other malicious happenings in the Android space. IT also appreciates Apple's ability to keep people's devices updated with regularity while Android updates vary by carriers and manufacturers.

 

 

 

The Rebuttal

  • Great Debate Moderator

    Is everybody ready?

    If so, we'll start in a couple minutes.

    Posted by Larry Dignan

    I'm here...

    ...and eager to get started.

    Matt Baxter-Reynolds

    I am for Yes

    All set

    Let the games begin.

    Matthew Miller

    I am for No

  • Great Debate Moderator

    Clash of the titans

    Based on market share, the Samsung and Apple roles are flipped in the consumer and enterprise markets. Samsung has the Knox technology, a swipe at BlackBerry, and SAFE but also has Android. Apple has enterprise momentum with its iOS, iPhone and iPad. What does Samsung have to do to become a serious enterprise player?

    Posted by Larry Dignan

    Keep up the heat

    I think it has to do is keep doing what it is doing. It's listening to enterprises and giving them the tools that they need. Enterprises need to feel confident that commercial data on handsets is safe. That means encryption, remote-wipe, and other management features. As well as this they need to be able to intelligently share and sync data to devices, be able to provide VPN dial-in access to the corporate network and so on. All these features are there today -- it's just a matter of continuing to improve, enhance, and mature the offering.

    Matt Baxter-Reynolds

    I am for Yes

    Longer life

    Samsung, like Apple with the iPhone in the beginning, has primarily been focused on the consumer market. They are making a good start by offering SAFE and Knox, but need to show the BYOD crowd why this is important for their employers.

    They are now releasing the same product on multiple carriers and offering updates to current owners. The ability to offer a device that lasts longer than six months and stays current is important to buyers bringing these devices to work.

    Matthew Miller

    I am for No

  • Great Debate Moderator

    Android's role

    Is Android a major handicap in the enterprise?

    Posted by Larry Dignan

    Perception problem

    Yes, I think Android has a major perception problem. For a long time it was considered as a geek toy and not a real business device. Enterprises have been gearing up around BlackBerry and iPhone. Android has rather come out of left-field at them. Luckily, the mobile device management (MDM) vendors have had first-class enterprise support for some time, so enterprises do have the support they need there.

    Matt Baxter-Reynolds

    I am for Yes

    Valid concerns

    I think there continues to be valid concerns about Android susceptibility to viruses and malware so this public perception will have to change before business is comfortable openly supporting Android.

    Google has had a hands off approach to Android for the most part and if they were to step in and promote more enterprise functions and features then that might help relieve some security concerns.

    Matthew Miller

    I am for No

  • Great Debate Moderator

    iOS's role

    Is Apple's iOS an enterprise strength?

    Posted by Larry Dignan

    Yes

    Definitely. Because Apple appeals to a more affluent demographic generally, it's tended to be the decision makers in the enterprises that have lobbied for iPhone to be supported both in enterprise-supply and BYOD. This gives Apple an advantage in terms of maturity.

    Matt Baxter-Reynolds

    I am for Yes

    I agree, too

    I believe it is. iOS is pretty closed off, yet offers a fluid and enjoyable experience for owners. Since it's a mobile OS that lets people easily wipe clean it appears to be safer and more secure.

    When people buy an iOS product under contract they can expect it to be updated and kept current for the life of the product. With Android you may never get an update and that can frustrate both buyers and IT departments that get bombarded with questions on a range of Android products.

    Matthew Miller

    I am for No

  • Great Debate Moderator

    Security needs

    What has to happen on the security front to allay enterprise Android worries?

    Posted by Larry Dignan

    Learning curve

    I suspect it's mostly an issue of education and management. More modern revisions of the OS support proper encryption and all sorts of other enterprise goodies and are generally considered to have an appropriate level of safety in this regard. It just needs to be managed through a proper MDM system.

    Matt Baxter-Reynolds

    I am for Yes

    Seeing is believing

    Google should come out and show how secure the platform can be and not just rely on companies like Samsung to support advanced security features on their own.

    It may help to have a large company or government organization buy or actively support a significant number of Android users and show how well the platform can perform.

    Matthew Miller

    I am for No

  • Great Debate Moderator

    Samsung Galaxy S4's impact

    Samsung launched its Galaxy S4 last week. Can this device spark consumer gadget lust and make it an enterprise staple.

    Posted by Larry Dignan

    Expect more BYOD devices

    I'm not sure the S4 itself is important. Samsung is doing such a good job of gaining consumer mindshare by a combination of (a staggering marketing spend) and making products that are actually good, it's hard to see how more and more people won't be BYOD-ing these devices.

    Matt Baxter-Reynolds

    I am for Yes

    It's a start


    While the S4 will sell millions, I don't think the device itself will spark any increased level of interest. It looks like the GSIII and offers a few more functions that most people will never use.

    The Galaxy line, maybe led by the Note II, may eventually have a major impact in the enterprise space as Samsung continues to evolve their lineup and focus on the Samsung experience.

    Matthew Miller

    I am for No

  • Great Debate Moderator

    Who's got the momentum?

    Has Apple lost its momentum with the iPhone and iPad and will that matter to the enterprise?

    Posted by Larry Dignan

    Too early to tell

    It's way too early to say that. The iPad in particular still has no effective competition.

    Even if Apple was losing its sheen as much as the popular view would have you believe (and I don't think it is), it would still take many years for it to lose its dominance.

    Matt Baxter-Reynolds

    I am for Yes

    iPhone 5 has the ball

    I don't see much loss in momentum and actually think after the rather strange S4 launch event that we may see more people looking forward to the next iPhone. In my office, the majority of smartphones are iPhones and a few folks just went out and bought them.

    A 128GB iPad was just recently released and Apple has been posting case studies and application promotions for the enterprise area.

    People are bringing their phones and tablets to work and a large number are powered by iOS.

    Matthew Miller

    I am for No

  • Great Debate Moderator

    Apple's strengths and weaknesses

    What are the biggest benefits Apple has in the BYOD market? What are Apple's weakspots?

    Posted by Larry Dignan

    Maturity and no backup plan

    Apple's biggest advantage is that it has a mature position and enterprises know what to expect. The weak-spot in BYOD is that if consumer demand starts to tail off, Apple doesn't really have any leverage to fix this.

    Matt Baxter-Reynolds

    I am for Yes

    Regular updates and UI dated

    The biggest benefits are the regular updates across networks, the attractive hardware and simple experiences, the commonality of the iPhone, the number of accessories, and the huge catalog of apps.

    The UI is a bit dated, the display is small compared to the new generation of smartphones, and the battery is not removable.

    Matthew Miller

    I am for No

  • Great Debate Moderator

    Samsung's strength and weaknesses

    What do you see as Samsung's strengths in BYOD and weaknesses?

    Posted by Larry Dignan

    Market momentum and 'it's not Apple'

    Although it looks like Samsung's strategy is to play well in the retail market with consumers, their strategy involves going after more markets than just retail. Enterprise is one and education is another. A big strength that Samsung has in the enterprise space is that it wants to win and is willing to listen and adapt.

    The big weakness with Samsung is that "it's not Apple and it's not BlackBerry". These are the two staples of enterprise mobility.

    Matt Baxter-Reynolds

    I am for Yes

    Size matters and always meeting needs

    People are moving towards large displays and Samsung's products are pushing the limits of size. I think travelers appreciate the removable battery option and the microSD helps people manage memory.

    Looking at weaknesses, I think Samsung should show some of their enterprise functions rather than focusing on querky functions people will use just once or twice.

    I would also love to see them using higher quality plastics and giving their devices a more premium look and feel.

    Matthew Miller

    I am for No

  • Great Debate Moderator

    Showdown in the enterprise

    Do you think Samsung could develop a corporate halo effect for its other products (laptops, Chromebooks, tablets, screens, printers etc.) similar to what Apple has working?

    Posted by Larry Dignan

    Raising the comfort level


    Perhaps. All a halo effect does is make a given customer more comfortable with the idea of buying another product from a known company simply by providing a good experience.

    However, the problem here is how visible is a Samsung device going to be to those making the decisions. You could have a thousand employees bringing Samsung smartphones to work with them every day, but if the IT department all use iPhones and iPads, the halo effect won't reach into the any procurement process operated by the IT department.

    Matt Baxter-Reynolds

    I am for Yes

    Is it all in the name?

    I don't think this will work for Samsung like it does for Apple. Others make Windows computers, Android tablets, Chromebooks, and more while only Apple makes their products. Apple can control the entire product line and operating system so the user gets a consistent experience and reliable work platform.

    I don't see why someone would want to pay the Samsung premium price for products just to have their name on them when lower cost products may offer the same or better experience.

    Matthew Miller

    I am for No

  • Great Debate Moderator

    Favored Android player?

    Do you expect one Android player (Samsung, HTC, ZTE etc) to become a favored vendor for businesses?

    Posted by Larry Dignan

    Depends on the definition

    Depends what you mean by "favored". I think we are likely to see more Samsung than anything else, simply because Samsung has a better market share. The enterprise might "favor" Samsung in terms of putting them on an approved device list simply because it gives them the biggest coverage of the user base.

    Matt Baxter-Reynolds

    I am for Yes

    HTC's the one

    I could see this happening and for a couple years I considered this to be HTC. They were the first to offer an advanced Exchange experience on Android ans given their high quality products I thought this would appeal to those looking for quality.

    I am now thinking Samsung is the Android vendor that has the beat chance. They have the eye of the consumer, dollars and success to deliver, and are making strides to support and address enterprise security.

    Matthew Miller

    I am for No

  • Great Debate Moderator

    Openings

    Has the BYOD movement played out? In other words, will corporate buying be an entry for Samsung to compete in the enterprise?

    Posted by Larry Dignan

    BYOD will become more important

    I think BYOD will become more important we go forward. The idea of BYOD is upside down -- what people are actually doing is "taking company data to their device", not "taking their device into the work environment".

    That kind of sociological change has been happening way back with the first revision BlackBerry devices over a decade ago. Professional people like the advantage that mobility offers them. BYOD is just one tool in the toolbox for making that happen.

    Matt Baxter-Reynolds

    I am for Yes

    Still some life

    I don't think it's been played out yet. There are still millions without smartphones, but I am starting to see many who don't have them finally make the move as shared data plans and the desire to stay in touch with people on the go becomes more desirable.

    We have seen corporate buying for the iPhone and BlackBerry, but I don't recall ever seeing any large purchase for Android devices. If Samsung can get such an entity to bring their devices into the workplace, then they may have a chance to succeed in this space.

    Matthew Miller

    I am for No

  • Great Debate Moderator

    Who's got the apps?

    How much does ecosystem and apps matter for enterprise adoption? Which party---Apple or Samsung---has the upper hand?

    Posted by Larry Dignan

    Just need the basics

    The app ecosystem problem is a little easier in enterprise compared to retail. So long as you have the basic apps covered, things like Citrix Receiver, Symantec VIP Access, Evernote, Documents To Go, etc, you're essentially there. Neither have the upper hand.

    Matt Baxter-Reynolds

    I am for Yes

    Custom apps are key

    I don't think general apps mean too much for enterprise, but the ability to develop custom apps that meet the needs of the company may be important. If there are developers on one platform and not on the other then it is more likely companies can find developers for their specific applications.

    I believe Apple still has the upper hand here. Samsung has been branching Android into a Samsung experience and if they continue separating from Android then they may be able to offer enterprise focused devices, services, and apps.

    Matthew Miller

    I am for No

  • Great Debate Moderator

    Last question - room for more?

    Is there a possibility that Apple and Samsung could both be upended by Windows Phone 8 and BlackBerry?

    Posted by Larry Dignan

    Not right now

    Not in any form of immediate time-frame, no.

    Go outside of the immediate time-frame, anything could happen!

    Matt Baxter-Reynolds

    I am for Yes

    Enterprise is ready

    At the moment, BlackBerry is relying on the success of Android developers to get their apps working on BlackBerry 10 and enterprise may see too much Android support as a deterrent to BlackBerry adoption.

    Windows Phone 8 needs Windows 8 to be successful in the enterprise to have an impact at work. However, I see more and more people at work trying Windows 8 enjoying the experience and looking to see if it is available on a phone.

    In the end, I still believe Apple will continue to make headway in the enterprise and since they seem to have reached a point of saturation in the consumer market the enterprise space is ripe for their targeting.

    Matthew Miller

    I am for No

  • Great Debate Moderator

    Excellent job

    Congrats to both Matts for giving us a great debate. Tune in tomorrow for the closing statements and Thursday for my verdict. Thank you for joining.

    Posted by Larry Dignan

Closing Statements

Samsung can deliver

Matt Baxter-Reynolds

As the other Matt says, it's not like Apple is going to sit idly by while Samsung eats its lunch.

But this particular fight isn't fought out in corporate procurement. No Apple representative is going to visit the CTO of a business and wine and dine them with a hope to getting their employees to buy iPhones for their personal phones. That's just plain illogical.

I think it's a huge mistake to write off Apple, claim that the iOS UI is outmoded, etc. What's changing is that someone has worked out how they might be able to "out-Apple Apple" within the general market. I'm surprised it's Samsung -- I didn't really see that coming.

So Samsung and the other Android players will get more play in BYOD scenarios simply because they will get more play generally. And I hope firms allow Android devices in. Points about the malware problem on Android are valid and well made. It would be *much* better if we didn't have to worry about that. But the MDM story on Android is first-rate. Tools such as SAFE prove that Samsung can deliver the features that enterprises want.

Don't underestimate Apple

Matthew Miller

It's always a pleasure debating with Matt across the pond as he brings a perspective from outside the US and challenges me to think more about the subject at hand. Even though we debated the Samsung - Apple BYOD issue you can see we had many agreements about what Samsung and/or Google need to do to challenge Apple in the enterprise space.

These include changing security perceptions, continuing to promote an entire line of Galaxy products, and getting the word out that enterprise security and mobility is a focus for Samsung.

The problem for Samsung is that Apple isn't going to sit idly by and let them take over. I have seen an increase in promotion of the enterprise space from Apple and know that employees are still bringing in new iPhones to the office without even much consideration for other platforms. Apple released an expensive iPad upgrade targeted to towards the enterprise and I think we are going to see more from them in 2013.

The key word is 'can'

Larry Dignan

As much as I hate to vote with the crowd when judging these debates, I have to go with Matt Baxter-Reynolds on the Samsung-Apple-BYOD debate.

The key word in the debate is "can." Samsung has all the parts to be an enterprise player and definitely has the consumer market share. Samsung certainly can be a BYOD star. The problem is some things are out of Samsung's control. Enterprises tend to like inertia, as Matthew Miller noted. And now that Apple is embedded, it will be hard to root out. 

Topics: Great Debate

About

Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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