Samsung hopes Galaxy Note will rub off on enterprise

Samsung's Andre Obradovic believes that there is a place for the Galaxy Note II in the enterprise, but IDC analyst Lillian Tay is still a sceptic.
Written by Spandas Lui, Contributor

Samsung is optimistic about Galaxy Note II adoption in the enterprise, despite the product line appealing more to young consumers.

Samsung Galaxy Note II. (Credit: Samsung)

At yesterday's Samsung Galaxy Note II launch in Sydney, the vendor's director for enterprise and SMB Andre Obradovic told ZDNet that the enterprise clients he has spoken to are all excited about the half-smartphone half-tablet device range, or as many have dubbed it, "phablets."

The Note II was already available in other countries in early October.

"The business people I interact with see it as a business tool. The thing they like about it is the S-pen functionality, the screen, how it can run [Cisco] WebEX on here — the screen size is perfect for that."

Samsung has touted the Galaxy Note II as the most powerful smartphone in the market, and the device is packed with features, such as dual-screen multitask function, longer battery life, quick note-taking options that would be useful for the enterprise user.

There is no doubt that the Note II will be competing fiercely for a slice of the smartphone market, and IDC market analyst Aman Bajaj lauded Samsung for being able to crack the hybrid smartphone and tablet market with the first Note, which has a steady uptake in Australia, something that Dell failed to do with its Streak phablet.

But Gartner principal research analyst Lillian Tay was less sunshine and rainbows about the Samsung Note series making waves in the enterprise sector.

"It's still consumers that are buying the Note and not the enterprise," she told ZDNet. "Surprisingly, when the Note first came out, we thought it was a device for senior citizens, with the big screen and all.

"But now, you actually see a lot of the younger generations using it."

Tay said that part of the hurdle in the way for mass enterprise adoption of the Note range is that the enterprise market is still more skewed towards BlackBerrys and iOS mobile devices. It is still, according to Tay, not quite ready for Android devices.

"Yes, there are some that will start investing in software and mobile device-management software for a walled garden approach around data security, or are actually writing new programs to run on the web instead of getting legacy apps that won't run on Android," she said. "But it's still a lot of work in progress.

"Enterprises are still working to bring all these things together, and there has not been much uptake of Android devices in the enterprise."

Indeed, according to a survey by Appcelerator and IDC, enterprise app developers favoured developing for Apple's iOS. That's not to say that employees aren't bringing personal Android devices into their workplaces.

"But how they connect those devices to the enterprise network is the big question," Tay said. "How much security and how deep you are allowed into the organisation is also something that the enterprise is working on."

Obradovic had a very different take on Android in the enterprise, making a very clear distinction between "vanilla" Android and Samsung's version of the OS.

"Samsung Android is different to vanilla Android, and we really focus on making sure that we have a very rich catalogue of APIs and IT security policies that can be adopted within the enterprise customer base," he said.

Obradovic also highlighted enterprise worthy security features the vendor offers, such as over the air encryption, on-device encryption, and mobile device management software.

Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone will all be selling the Samsung Galaxy Note II. For those who want to buy it outright, the device is available for AU$899.

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