Samsung to attack Blackberry with Android

June 19, 2010, 1:30 PM UTC

According to a report this week, Samsung will be building Android devices that look like Blackberries with touch screens.

NPD Numbers,Q1, 2010 Click to enlarge

It makes a lot of sense really:  Apple and Google are slugging it out over candy bar-shaped phone designs while RIM is the biggest smartphone maker in the US and bigger than both Android and Apple internationally. Their traditional ‘Blackberry design’ is by far their most popular.

NPD’s recent numbers (at right) show that Blackberry is far more vulnerable Android market share gains than anyone else.

With Google’s (GOOG) next OS,  2.2 Froyo, Android has more of what business and enterprise customers need.  Froyo has remote wipe, auto-discovery and extended Exchange support, along with 22 enterprise updates detailed at Google I/O.  While the Nexus One is currently the only device that supports 2.2, Verizon is expected to unveil some impressive 2.2 devices next week.

Additionally, many businesses, small and large, are moving to Google Apps for their messaging needs.  Once a business moves from Exchange or Lotus Notes to Google, the move to Android phones is much easier. Android obviously supports Google Apps natively and will have many more hooks coming in the future.  I expect some big announcements in the Google Voice for business area in the coming months.

But will heavy emailers like the typical Android form factor?  Perhaps not, old habits die hard.

That’s where Samsung comes in.  The new Galaxy Q will target the BlackBerry, the smartphone manufactured by Canada’s Research In Motion (RIM) that commands a significant share among corporate users according to the report by the Korea Times.

“It is expected the Galaxy Q will pave the way for Samsung to eat up more shares in QWERTY smartphones in North America, where the Canadian company is leading the way,” said their source.

The Android platform’s most popular phone by far, the Droid, (below from Chitika research this week) has a physical keyboard, though it is a slider rather than a fixed keyboard like the Blackberry.  The Droid 2 is expected to be part of Verizon’s news next week.