March 18, 2013
New Galaxy S4 Unlikely To Make A Splash In Corporate Market
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
In the days leading up to the unboxing of Samsung´s new smartphone the Galaxy S4, many analysts and reporters were expecting big things — and not just the size of the screen. There was a sense that Apple had finally become weak enough to be taken out with one crushing blow, and a 5-inch screen packed with an eight-core processor and NFC could have seemingly done the trick.Now that the device has been unveiled and shown off, the conversation has turned from one about Apple´s demise to the “evolutionary not revolutionary” nature of the smartphone industry. Furthermore, if the Galaxy S4 is simply the next step in the evolution of Galaxy devices, does it still pack the necessary wallop to strike Apple down?
In an article in The Telegraph this weekend, one writer says that the S4 doesn´t have the necessary improvements to overturn Apple´s lead in the corporate world. According to Christopher Williams, it´s Android´s “fragmentation” which turns corporate IT departments against Google´s operating system.
Though they scarcely uttered the word “Android” during the unveiling, Samsung´s latest flagship phone is still beholden to Google´s confectionary operating systems. For all the Galaxy S4´s great specs, its relationship with Android and its fragmented flaws are what Williams claims will keep business customers from snatching up these devices.
Since the earliest days of these smartphone wars, Android detractors have accused the platform of being fragmented. For instance, Google´s own Nexus line of phones is always the first to receive any updates to the Android OS. No other handset manufacturer has this same privilege. It took many months for Samsung Galaxy S III owners to receive the latest version of Android last year, and there are many other Android users out there with several other versions of the Google OS. Some phones may never see the latest Android version. Some phones ship with a year-old OS and may be another year away from getting an update.
It´s a point that Apple´s senior vice president of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller brought up in interviews last week leading up to the Galaxy unveiling.
“With their own data, only 16 percent of Android users are on year-old version of the operating system,” pointed out Schiller in one of these interviews. “Over 50 per cent are still on software that is two years old.”
“We are hearing this week that the Samsung Galaxy S 4 is being rumored to ship with an OS that is nearly a year old.”
The Galaxy S4 will ship with Android 4.2.1, a version which first left Google´s digital docks in November of last year. With so many phones running so many different versions of the same platform, it can be difficult for IT departments to ensure that all phones are working together harmoniously.
Apple, on the other hand, ships out any updates to their OS directly to the customer rather than pushing the updates to software manufacturers and carriers, as is the case with Android. By the numbers, IT professionals far prefer this method. According to IDC´s numbers, Apple will sell as many as 31.1 million iPhones to corporations this year. Android makers, on the other hand, will ship around half that number, or about 15.1 million.
“Nevertheless, as well as Apple´s undoubted cache as a premium brand, fragmentation is a major reason why the iPhone remains more popular among business buyers than Android handsets,” concludes Williams in his piece.
“IT departments are always likely to resist managing multiple versions of software, whether on a Windows desktop or a smartphone.”