Samsung and Citrix are instituting a partnership to support Citrix Receiver on the former's Galaxy S smartphones and Galaxy Tab tablet PCs, potentially opening those devices to increased use by the enterprise.
Citrix Receiver offers access to virtual desktops and business apps, including resource-hungry database programs. Since the apps themselves are ported from a corporate network, there's no data stored on the actual device-and thus nothing vital to compromise should the device itself be lost or stolen.
"Working with an innovative partner like Samsung Mobile allows us to expand the boundaries of accessibility for enterprise customers," Mick Hollison, Citrix's vice president of Desktop Marketing, wrote in an Oct. 5 statement. "By using our Citrix Receiver together with any of the Samsung Galaxy S portfolio of smartphones or the Galaxy Tab lineup of mobile tablets, we continue to push the envelope on innovation for mobile users who are coming to expect the flexibility to work how and where they choose."
Samsung has also partnered with Sybase to bring to the latter's Afaria mobile-device management application, along with its Unwired Platform, onto the Galaxy S and Galaxy Tab. That's in addition to Blackboard Mobile Learn and Epocrates Rx, which will offer educational and medical applications for the devices.
By moving its mobile franchises into the enterprise space, Samsung will inevitably find itself in increased conflict with Research In Motion, which recently announced a PlayBook tablet PC to go along with its line of BlackBerry devices. Although many details of the PlayBook's user interface remain scarce, RIM executives have promised out-of-the-box compatibility with BlackBerry Enterprise Server and the ability to sync information with the user's BlackBerry. RIM has also been encouraging third-party developers to build apps for its platforms.
But Samsung is also developing a mobile franchise of its own in the Galaxy S and Galaxy Tab. During a Sept. 16 event at New York City's Time Warner Center, executives suggested that some five million Galaxy S smartphones will ship by the end of 2010, and the company has high hopes for the Galaxy Tab's marketplace chances. Should that large consumer base develop, it could give Samsung an advantage in penetrating the enterprise market-a strategy that Apple originally used to gain business users for both the iPhone and iPad.
However, questions still remain about the cost and data plans of the Galaxy Tab, which will be sold through AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile. The presumption is that the carriers will subsidize the cost of the tablet in exchange for a contract, but prohibitively high costs for either hardware or data plan could slow its adoption among businesses still pinching pennies in the wake of a massive global recession.