Samsung Electronic's new Galaxy S4 smartphone will be revealed March 14 and will have security features that the Apple Inc. iPhone lacks, officials claim via Twitter at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Monday.
Galaxy, current in its third generation, is a mainstream competitor to the iPhone and runs the Google Inc. Android operating system. In the Galaxy's fourth generation hardware, shipping this summer, users will be able to configure secure personal profiles for office hours and personal life, Suwon, South-Korea-based Samsung announced.
Samsung calls its system "Knox" named for the famous Kentucky Fort Knox and employers won't be able to view data stored in the personal profile. Knox is administered through third-party software made by Samsung partners. The partner companies are AirWatch, MobileIron Inc., SAP, and Soti Inc., officials said.
AT&T has its own system called Toggle, and BlackBerry maker Research In Motion has a feature called Balance. Both do essentially the same thing as Knox. (The idea isn't new. Concepts for multiple "virtual" personalities in a single computing device emerged in the 1960s.) Apple officials in Cupertino, Calif. could not be reached for comment about whether there are similar plans for the iPhone.
The Droid Lawyer blogger Jeffrey Taylor said he's excited about the S4. "They're going to push huge on the business side of it," he said, in Oklahoma City, Okla. The S4 is expected to include a 13-megapixel camera which will be useful for mobile document scanning and videoconferencing, he added.
Android ran 70.1 percent of all smartphones sold worldwide in the fourth quarter of 2012, according to technology research house International Data Corp. (analysts avoid the market share of specific devices such as the iPhone and Galaxy because of vendor secrecy over that information, IDC senior researcher Ramon Llamas explained, in Framingham, Mass.)
But among law firms of at least 50 attorneys, Android devices only account for 10 percent market share, according to an International Legal Technology Association survey in Aug. 2012. A similar survey from the American Bar Assocation, released the month before, found Android adoption among the same-sized firms at just 8.26 percent. Both surveys found the iPhone at almost 50 percent.)
Two alternative operating systems, both open source, also made smartphone buzz at the Mobile World Congress, which began Monday and lasts through Thursday.
One approach is from Mozilla Corp., which is developing a version of its Firefox browser as an operating system, called Firefox OS. That system can run on any device just as Google does with its Chrome OS. Firefox OS phones will be made by Alcatel, Huawei, LG, and ZTE, officials in Mountain View, Calif., said this week.
Meanwhile, Canonical last week in London released a development version of its Ubuntu Linux operating system for touchscreen devices, called Ubuntu Phone. Ubuntu is known for its desktop version of the Linux operating system.