3 days ago, Forbes ran an article that stated that with Google partnering with Samsung to bring its KNOX security software or just a similar implementation to Android in the upcoming version of Android currently under review as Android L, it was giving up on KNOX. The result? That Samsung will instead incorporate Android for Work in its devices as it can no longer maintain KNOX thanks to a slide in its recently released financial figures. That of course did not make sense to me and I never bothered to pick it up as everyone and thankfully, several hours later there’s a comment from the company. No, KNOX is not being abandoned.
Samsung is committed to the long term evolution of mobile security and the ongoing development of Samsung KNOX. While Samsung is contributing a part of KNOX technology for the benefit of the entire Android community and enterprise customers, Samsung KNOX remains the most secure Android platform from the hardware to the application level. Samsung will continue to work with our partners to enable KNOX for all of our valued customers. Our list of enterprise and government clients continues to grow rapidly, and is a testament to our commitment to providing highly-desirable, secure mobile devices across all industries. Furthermore, Samsung continues to offer differentiated and highly valuable mobile enterprise services such as KNOX EMM and KNOX Marketplace to provide customers with the most secure and scalable mobility management solution.
There. You have it.
Let’s put some things into perspective. First, would Samsung all of a sudden abandon something they’ve been working hard on for the last four years (from the days of SAFE)? Would Samsung abandon KNOX just when it was getting high level clearance and vote of confidence from the who’s who of this world; right from the US Pentagon to the seat of the Commonwealth? So what if KNOX has just 2 million users? It is not targeted at everyone after all. In fact of the millions of Galaxy devices that Samsung ships per year globally, it is bundling KNOX to just its flagships and a few notable mid-range devices. At least that is what it has done so far.
Discontinue KNOX because the company failed to meet financial analysts’ expectations and profit margins were lower year on year? That’s laughable. It’s not like KNOX is such a big factor in determining sales of Galaxy devices so far, it is just another value add that represents an idea whose time has come. Even Blackberry knows that too well. That’s why even Google brought up Android for Work at I/O 2014 and we’ll see it pop up on Android soon. Why would the pioneer of such a valued software as KNOX on a platform as versatile as Android walk away just when things were heating up?