Samsung takes on BlackBerry enterprise space with KNOX

Just when things started to look up for BlackBerry, a key is ramping up competition in the enterprise smartphone market with Samsung unveiling a new offering called KNOX.

The initiative is designed to let IT departments manage Samsung phones securely, as well as implement and manage Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) strategies within their enterprises, the company said in a press release on Monday. KNOX debuted at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

"Security and privacy are understandably held up as barriers to businesses embracing BYOD demands. The KNOX solution allows employees to combine business and personal in a single device, without compromising the security that IT departments are looking for," said Paul Brannen, vice president, enterprise business solutions at Samsung Canada.

KNOX is part of Samsung’s bid to dominate in the area by convincing corporate buyers that phones running on Google’s Android operating system can be as secure as a BlackBerry, the Globe and Mail reported.

BlackBerry executives declined an interview request, but in a statement told the Globe that more than 3,500 enterprises and government agencies are already evaluating BlackBerry 10, which made its Canadian debut in January.

“Whatever any of our competitors announce, one thing won’t change. The most secure mobile computing solution is a BlackBerry device running on a BlackBerry platform,” David Smith, the company's executive vice-president of mobile computing, told the newspaper.

Samsung said KNOX will be commercially available in selected Samsung GALAXY devices from the second quarter onward.

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