While it's pretty clear that the Apple iPad is still the darling of the tablet PC world as far as consumers are concerned, Samsung appears to be focusing its efforts on enterprise customers.
At the Mobile World Congress 2011 conference, Samsung and SAP extended an existing relationship that will now bring business intelligence software from the BusinessObjects unit of SAP to the Samsung Galaxy tablets and smartphones. In addition, the Sybase unit of SAP announced that it will make its Afaria Advanced Enterprise Security (AES) software for the Google Android platform available on Samsung's implementation of Android.
According to Jack Chawla, senior director of technology marketing for the SAP mobile business unit, SAP and Samsung have a longstanding relationship that is now being extended into the mobile computing world. Meanwhile, the Sybase security announcement represents the first mobile computing product launch from Sybase under the banner of SAP. One of the primary reasons that SAP acquired Sybase was to extend its footprint into the world of mobile computing.
While Google Android systems as a whole continue to gain ground on Apple, one of the challenges that software companies face is that every implementation of Google Android is slightly different. Rather than having to support one version of an operating system as in the case of Apple, each specific implementation of Google Android by each mobile computing device manufacturer has to be supported by each software vendor. The end result is a bifurcation of the Google Android mobile computing market that presents support challenges for software vendors.
Nevertheless, Google Android devices as a class are rapidly establishing themselves as a viable alternative to Apple and, as such, their adoption in increasing numbers across the enterprise is only a matter of time.