BlackBerry and Samsung partner on secure messaging for Android

Beleaguered smartphone maker BlackBerry has found an ally. The firm announced yesterday that it has partnered with Samsung to bring its BES12 software to select Android devices. The cross-platform messaging software will be "tightly integrated" with Samsung's Knox, a data protection system with "multiple layers of hardware- and software- based protection." By combining their expertise, the two companies hope to provide "the most secure mobility solutions" for corporate customers.

Interestingly, the collaboration may go beyond bringing BlackBerry's messenger to Samsung's devices. According to President of Global Enterprise Services John Sims, BlackBerry has "developed a very close partnership with Samsung" and is "committed to deepening the interaction between our engineering and product development teams for the long-term." The Samsung rep quoted in the press release doesn't allude to the partnership extending to other projects, though.

Starting early next year, BlackBerry will support Knox "as part of the Gold family of BES12 subscriptions." Samsung will also act as a BES12 reseller for "joint customers," suggesting the software will be an optional add-on rather than bundled with devices. Knox is at least supported on a wide range (PDF) of Samsung smartphones and tablets.

Given Apple's recent partnership with IBM to bring enterprise-focused apps to iOS, I'm not surprised to see Samsung calling in backup of its own. It will be interesting to see how the two tag teams fare against each other in the battle for business clients.

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