The update model and openness of the ecosystem make Android smartphones less appealing for deployment in many enterprises and government institutions. Samsung tried to address some of the challenges by launching Enterprise Editions of its high-end devices and creating enterprise-deployment and management tools like Samsung Knox.
The Galaxy S9 and A8 Enterprise Edition models, launched earlier this year, were part of this strategy. It appears the company’s efforts are bearing some fruits as Netherlands’ Air Force has decided to deploy Galaxy S9 Enterprise Edition for 6,000 of its employees. Marking the beginning of the rollout, Samsung has handed over the first of the 6,000 devices to the Deputy Commander, Air Forces, General Major Mario Verbeek.
Free firmware and security updates for four years
“The Air Force Command (CLSK) is in the middle of the transition to the 5th Generation Air Force. The focus is on information-driven action. This ambition, combined with good employment practices and the most effective use of staff, has made CLSK decide to provide every employee working within the CLSK with a smartphone in the form of a Samsung Galaxy S9,” said General Major Mario Verbeek commenting on the rollout.
While the Galaxy S9 Enterprise Edition is identical to the consumer model in terms of hardware, the former gets free firmware and security updates for four years. At the time of the launch, Samsung promised three years of monthly security updates and quarterly updates for the fourth year for the enterprise version, which is roughly a year more of support than the consumer variant. With regards to major Android OS updates, however, it appears even the Enterprise Edition devices will be limited to only two updates, similar to the consumer models.
Apart from extended support, Enterprise Edition models also come with tools like Knox Configure and E-FOTA on MDM to assist in large-scale deployment and management of devices in organizations.