One of the big tech headlines this month that didn’t come
from the annual Consumer Electronics Show was Google’s announcement and shipment of its Android-based Nexus
One smartphone. But no sooner had consumers gotten their hands on this
intriguing iPhone and BlackBerry competitor than Google started hinting that
the next iteration will be a more enterprise-oriented version that will really
go after the BlackBerry market. According to Reuters,
Google exec Andy Rubin said it might
even have a physical keyboard, which it seems would be a requirement if current
BlackBerry users were to be swayed.
Ed Hansberry is
a bit skeptical.
That won’t be good
enough though for larger companies. They will expect to be able to apply
policies restricting the types of apps a user can install, restrict the storage
of data on unencrypted storage cards, have the ability to remotely wipe the
device and more. There isn’t much information on this future device, but I
suspect before it launches, Google will have developed some sort of service
that will allow IT managers to control the phone just as they can control the
Other analysts agree that any enterprise version of the
phone would need to offer enhanced security options and Microsoft Exchange
support, among other features, and would definitely need a keyboard. If Google
can do all that, perhaps the folks at RIM
will start to sweat.
— Don Willmott