A first look at Samsung Knox 2.0 and Samsung EMM (Live demo video from Mobile World Congress 2014)

On Tuesday Samsung announced version 2.0 of Knox, its Android dual-persona framework, as well as Knox EMM, a mobile device management platform that can manage Knox-enabled devices, other samsung devices, Android, and iOS. In this video Jason Leung, Samsung Global Knox Solutions Engineer, gives us a demo live from the show floor at Mobile World Congress 2014 in Barcelona. (Scroll down past the video for more details and background.)

Samsung Knox is a framework that allows corporate apps and data to be isolated from personal apps and data. Version 1.0 of Knox was announced at Mobile World Congress last year. (Check out my article Could Samsung SAFE and KNOX lead to MAM that makes Android phones as secure as Blackberrys? for a more in-depth look at how Knox fits in the Android world.)

Knox 2.0 has a fundamentally different architecture than the previous version. Before, much of the dual-persona functionality was implemented at the app level, and apps had to be processed and wrapped by Samsung in order to be used in the corporate environment. With Knox 2.0, an entirely separate Android user space is created, and as a result any apps can run in the corporate space, not just wrapped apps. Like other Samsung devices, there are a range of extra management APIs that build on the basic APIs available in Android. In addition, there are APIs that control how the corporate space and personal space interact with each other.

Previously, a third-party MDM product was required to manage Knox devices, and this will continue to be an option. However, with Knox EMM Samsung is also entering the MDM market. Since the device and the management platform are coming from the same vendor, there are naturally more opportunities for tighter integration.

Knox licenses currently retail for USD $3.60 per device, but pricing details for Knox 2.0 and Knox EMM have not been finalized.

Knox 2.0 will first be available on the Galaxy S5, which is scheduled to be released on April 11, and Knox EMM is targeted for GA at that time as well. Support for the Galaxy S4 and the Note 3 is expected to follow, as well as possible support for the Galaxy S3 and Note 2.

This video is just our first look for now, and we'll have more in-depth analysis after the dust settles from Mobile World Congress. In the mean time you can also check out the Samsung Knox website for more details and white papers.

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Whoa, so with any Android app being able to be managed, this is huge! So basically this is saying that if you use Samsung devices, you can do all this without third party tools, and have all apps?


Seriously, this is huge.


That price.. $3.60.. I assume that's per month?


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Totally agree that this is huge.


As I understand it the price is $3.60 per month as you said, but I think that is only for the advanced KNOX features like the container. I didn't understand what the price would be if you weren't using the container.


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The problem with KNOX is most firms that have to support multiple vendor phones would rather use a product that is not tied to one vendor.  


We support Nexus, HTC, Samsung, Motorola, Apple, etc.  


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agree with @Kyle Joh as, if you are international company, device of choice really change !!! you will have to support minimum iOS and some sort of Android devices and therefore, need to get someone more agnostic.


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Amazing that @Kata and @Kyle both failed to read the first sentence...


"that can manage Knox-enabled devices, other samsung devices, Android, and iOS".


Sounds like it supports the majority of the market.


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You know, how big Knox EMM is depends on how you look at it.


On the one hand, it's a big deal that a device manufacturer (especially an important one like Samsung) is getting into the business of making the MDM management server as well as the device and management APIs on the device. Having that vertical integration is a huge value proposition.


(Of course the question remains as to whether Samsung can convince the high-security/regulated market that Knox devices can replace BlackBerrys. Regardless of the technical details, I'm sure there are some potential customers that just have a gut feeling that they don't want to trust this. But this is a conversation for another time.)


On the other hand, these specialized Android devices only represent a minority of EMM use-cases. For everything else, all Knox EMM is offering is basic MDM. If that's all you need, then great, but there are a hundred other vendors that can offer that, too. And if you need more than just MDM, you'll have to look elsewhere anyway.


Either way, the changes in Knox 2.0 should be welcome, and hopefully Samsung is on its way to getting all the marketplace confusion about Knox worked out.


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