Samsung SAFE Galaxy S III tackles enterprise security

Samsung has revealed its first SAFE-branded Android smartphone, a secured version of the Galaxy S III targeting enterprise customers wary that data safety could slip through the cracks of Android fragmentation. SAFE – or Samsung Approved for Enterprise – will "defragment the Android OS across multiple versions from Gingerbread to Ice Cream Sandwich at US carriers" according to the Korean company, with support for AES-256 bit encryption, VPN and Mobile Device Management functionality, among other things.

There's also support for 338 IT Policies, enhanced support for Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync, and mobile virtualization tech that Samsung believes will make the SAFE Galaxy S III particularly welcome among business users. The goal, the company says, is to cater to the BYOD (bring your own device) market, where users expect their individual phones to play nicely with their corporate infrastructure, while businesses fear insecure devices being let loose filled with the firm's secrets.

Samsung describes SAFE as a "quality assurance program" developed alongside multiple enterprise software and services providers. They were asked to help Samsung integrate their MDM and VPN solutions with the Galaxy S III, before in-depth testing and verification. "This collaboration," Samsung argues, "coupled with the testing process, creates solutions that are optimized for SAFE devices and enterprise use including adoption within regulated industries such as healthcare, financial services and government."

Meanwhile there's a new SAFE2SWITCH program which hopes to get users of rival devices to trade in their handset for a Galaxy S III. The scheme will be open to both corporate customers and prosumers, and Samsung is promising more details imminently.

More on the Galaxy S III in our full review.