Samsung unveiled the next phase of its program to make its Android smart devices fit for enterprise deployment at MWC 2013 with the announcement of KNOX.

Tony Cripps, devices and platforms analyst at Ovum has the following comment:

“KNOX provides an end-to-end package of security services that reach from the hardware to the application layer. These include a secure “application container”, which is similar to BlackBerry’s Balance, plus support for over 300 IT policies and more than 700 mobile device management application programming interfaces.

“KNOX demonstrates Samsung’s growing appreciation of the security and management needs of enterprise users and the value of integrating such features into its Android smart devices out of the box.  This could be an important differentiator over most of Samsung’s Android device rivals, for which bring-your-own-device and other enterprise mobility initiatives largely take a back seat. However, the functionality will only extended to “selected” Galaxy devices from 2Q13.

“The announcement also positions Samsung well to exploit any softening in demand among enterprises and “prosumers” for BlackBerry devices, which have long provided the benchmark for enterprise smart devices. It can also take advantage of any reluctance by businesses to deploy applications and data on Apple iOS devices.”