BlackBerry was once known for its position in the mobile enterprise market — for software and hardware alike — which wasn’t enough to pull it out of its product doldrums and resulted in its sale to Fairfax Financial Holdings this week, but recent developments from Samsung appear to further threaten any leftover market share BlackBerry sought to retain on the software side.
Samsung debuted an app marketplace for businesses — dubbed Samsung Solutions Exchange — on September 25 that is geared towards making apps for the enterprise more integrated with Samsung mobile devices. Whereas BlackBerry’s software was once the go-to for the enterprise and government entities, its slide has opened up a big space for companies to work their way into the mobile enterprise market as the bring-your-own-device trend continues to grow. Reports have amsung is working with software developers to cater apps that already exist to Samsung devices, making them more compatible with Samsung’s latest smartphones, phablets, and tablets.
Should the app exchange take off, it will blow into BYOD at full speed. While many enterprises use iPhones for their employees, the core notion of BYOD is that workers get to pick the device they bring to the office, and many choose Samsung devices. Samsung owns the majority of smartphone market on the planet, so if it can score a significant share of the enterprise realm, it will be secure in its dominance. (Although, BlackBerry likely thought the same when it owned 90% of the enterprise market.) The key for Samsung will be gaining share in the government sector — the software for which must jump through hoops to gain GSA approval in the U.S. to start — for that is where BlackBerry had a sustained foothold.
Of course, Samsung has its usual rivals in Apple and Microsoft — both of which have mobile enterprise software with Microsoft’s as the more popular. But Samsung has the advantage of being the most popular handset maker compared to both, far surpassing Microsoft in this regard. As it works with existing software developers, more businesses may adapt to Android’s open source operating system — which could turn the BYOD scene in significant favor of Samsung.