Samsung's Galaxy Pro
The Samsung Galaxy Pro is the latest phone in the handset maker's line of Galaxy devices. The Pro's design appears to draw some inspiration from a typical RIM BlackBerry handset, with its dedicated QWERTY keypad. It also carries features such as Social Hub Premium and Think Free, which allows users to access and edit Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents on the go.
Samsung has just lifted the veil on its latest smartphone, the Galaxy Pro. With its vertically-oriented physical QWERTY keypad, it looks somewhat like a RIM BlackBerry device, though like all phones in Samsung's Galaxy line, the Pro is powered by Android.
The Pro is perhaps another swipe against Research In Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM), as manufacturers and users alike continue to look beyond BlackBerry when it comes to the next generation of business phones.
Since it was introduced in 2008, Android has become a behemoth in the mobile industry, and enterprise customers have begun to take note. In fact, it's just overthrown RIM in market share in the U.S.
The Galaxy Pro apparently aims to make a mark in the emerging world of business Android phones, and offers features -- both in design and in software -- that differentiate it from the other handsets under Samsung's Galaxy umbrella.
For one thing, the Galaxy's one-piece, non-flip, non-slider design and full QWERTY keypad with dual letter-number buttons resemble something out of the RIM playbook.
The Pro also looks to connect with business customers through pre-installed software on the phone. One feature is called "Social Hub Premium," an app that allows users to toggle between multiple social networks -- for business and personal use -- and organize large volumes of messages in a seamless manner.
Work e-mails and separated from personal e-mails, but everything is cohesively kept together with one central contact list. The Galaxy Pro also has a program called "Think Free," which allows users to access and edit Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents on the go.
Samsung did not respond to requests for comment.
The Galaxy Pro will continue the brand recognition Samsung has achieved with its fast-growing Galaxy line of Android-based handsets, personal media players and tablets, Jordan Cressman, analyst for Market Communications, told TechNewsWorld.
"In a world where there are too many Android phones to keep track of, Samsung has managed to create brand awareness with its Galaxy name. People who go to a retailer may not necessarily notice or care that a phone is made by Samsung, but they will start recognizing the Galaxy brand," said Cressman. "This brand awareness is key to any company or enterprise customer that wants to place a volume order. It needs the security of knowing a trusted brand."
There potential for developers to make a big splash in the world of corporate Android apps, Cressman added. "There's going to be a lot of opportunity for people to make enterprise apps that can revolutionize the way corporations talk together and get work done when they're not in the office," he said.
One of those people is Mike Novak, an independent Android developer, who says he is excited by the potential for business applications on the platform.
"Every company has its own unique needs, and Android offers the flexibility for customized apps and software in a level of accessibility that Blackberry never had," Novak told TechNewsWorld. "In the end, it's a win-win situation for developers, consumers and businesses."