Vendors introduce phones virtually every day and that rapidity means that few are noticed except by those with a rooting interest in the vendor or phone aficionados.
An exception to this rule of thumb is Samsung’s introduction of the Galaxy S8 and S8+. The phones, which became available last Friday, will likely be popular with corporate users for two reasons, according to Computerworld: enterprise-level security and productivity and backlog due to the vacuum created by the Galaxy Note7 fiasco.
The story paraphrases analyst Jack Gold, who suggests that 65 percent of S8 buyers may use the device for work-related purposes, and links to reports from The Investor, a South Korean site, which said that the vendor hopes to sell 60 million S8s, which is 8 million more than Galaxy S7 sales.
A key attraction to IT departments is the inclusion of Knox 2.8 security and management, which supports dozens of enterprise mobility management (EMM) platforms and can extend encryption to apps running on the device.
Business Insider answers, at least in this case, the always interesting question of what the difference is between the basic product and the one with the “+” at the end. The Galaxy S8 has a 5.8-inch, 570 pixels per inch (ppi) screen. The S8+ device offers a 6.2-inch, 529 ppi screen. The phones have in common water resistance, the Bixby artificial intelligence-based assistant, curved edges, front (8 megapixel) and rear (12 megapixel) cameras, wireless and fast charging, iris recognition and compatibility with Samsung’s DeX monitor dock.
While it is unlikely to grow to be the disaster of the Galaxy Note7, the Galaxy S8 and S8+ have a problem. According to testing done by device insurance firm SquareTrade, the S8 and S8+ tend to break easily. The phones have underperformed the S7 and S7 Edge. The firm uses robots to conduct drop, slide, tumble and dunk tests, and reported poor results from these tests, though the press release didn’t provide specific scores or other quantifiable results.
The specific point here is to be careful of the new Samsungs until the fragility problem is confronted.
The more general point is that it may be an example of the evolution of the bring your own device (BYOD) work structure. One of the big transitions of the past decade has been the growth of “official” business use of an employee’s device. Of course, using a personal phone at work is universal. BYOD was an attempt to structure this use from both the enterprise and employee perspectives.
The interesting thing about the Galaxy S8 and S8+ is that significant corporate-friendly features are being built in. Such features are nothing new, of course. But it’s worth stepping back and noting that vendors are perhaps on the road to helping BYOD by creating devices that simultaneously appeal to consumers and their bosses.
Carl Weinschenk covers telecom for IT Business Edge. He writes about wireless technology, disaster recovery/business continuity, cellular services, the Internet of Things, machine-to-machine communications and other emerging technologies and platforms. He also covers net neutrality and related regulatory issues. Weinschenk has written about the phone companies, cable operators and related companies for decades and is senior editor of Broadband Technology Report. He can be reached at [email protected] and via twitter at @DailyMusicBrk.