As if the struggling company doesn't have enough to worry about, Blackberry, if it survives long enough, might have a new fierce rival as Samsung opens up its Samsung Solutions Exchange. Rather than simply being yet another store filled with business-friendly apps, Solutions Exchange is also a program to bring in developers to port or create apps that directly answer the needs of Samsung's enterprise customers.
The Korean manufacturer has recently been quite arduous in pushing its presence beyond simple consumer devices. Early this month at the IFA trade show, it announced the commercial availability of the KNOX security framework that helped get its Galaxy S4 smartphone approved by the US government for public office use. Now, partnering with companies such as Citrix, Xora, and eventually with Microsoft, SAP, and Salesforce, Samsung is taking the next steps to bring its devices and apps further into the workplace.
By releasing its software development kit (SDK), containing over a thousand application programming interfaces (APIs), to its partners, Samsung is hoping to encourage developers to create powerful mobile business apps that are not just faint mirrors of desktop counterparts. These apps will be taking advantage of unique Samsung devices and technologies such as the S Pen stylus, pen- and finger-based Air View gestures, screen mirroring, and more. And, of course, integration with Samsung's latest smart gadget, the Galaxy Gear smartwatch, is also on the menu.
For now, Samsung will be focusing not on creating completely new apps but on getting developers to ensure that existing apps are on par with their desktop versions in functionality. It remains to be seen later on if this thrust will make Samsung the go-to guy for business solutions, which could very well take away whatever little foothold Blackberry has left in the market.