Though business and enterprise-focused smartphones have proven relatively underwhelming for several years now, Samsung still likes to dip its feet in that risky river from time to time. Risky, because as BlackBerry's shutdown shows, business-branded smartphones and gear can't carve their own place in the grand landscape of mobile phones, at least not today where most buyers are regular consumers.
But the problem with BlackBerry was its business depended entirely on such phones. Samsung makes TVs, regular flagships, OLED displays, appliances, and much more — it has plenty of legroom to continue trying to make enterprised-focused phones because even if those attempts fail, its whole business won't shatter into pieces.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Enterprise Edition
Fittingly, the company has unveiled the Galaxy Note 8 Enterprise Edition. Unlike its "Active" Galaxy variants, the phone doesn't feature a different design, nor does it have different specs. It's basically a standard, unlocked version loaded with a bunch of business-related bloatware, some of which are designed to add security to sensitive information.
Why Making Enterprise Phones Is Tricky
It seems pretty simple a distinction, but making a phone for enterprise users is actually more nuanced than just preloading a bunch of business apps on a handset. Samsung VP Eric McCarty explains what it means to walk the line between business and personal devices:
"Modern enterprises are dealing with a conflict when it comes to their mobile strategies — a push and pull between what they require of IT to keep organizations secure and productive, and what their employees have come to expect when using mobile devices," says McCarty.
IT People Will Love This Phone
While the Enterprise Edition is practically indiscernible from the regular Note 8, it offers better security and manageability for enterprises looking for a truly business-class device. One of its highlights is support for Samsung Enterprise Firmware Over the Air, which allows an enterprise to have central control over the operating system, software updates, and schedules, giving it the ability to choose when devices get upgraded, or test an update first before pushing it out. As Forbes notes, those in the IT field like this a lot.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Enterprise Edition Pricing And Availability
The Galaxy Note 8 Enterprise Edition will be available for U.S. customers starting this week for $994, nearly $50 more than a standard Note 8. Save for exclusive security and management apps, it's pretty much a Note 8 through and through, with the same crisp Super AMOLED display, 6 GB of RAM, 64 GB of storage, and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chip. Purchases will be done through a sales rep — this phone is clearly meant for buy-in-bulk type of arrangements.