What Pentagon approval could mean for Samsung

On Thursday the Wall Street Journal reports that the U.S. Department of Defense expects to grant separate security approvals for Samsung Galaxy smartphones as well as Apple devices running iOS 6. The Defense Information Systems Agency, which sanctions technology for DoD use, is expected to give iOS the nod “in early May” and to rule that the Galaxy line conforms to security guidelines for mobile data and communications.

Those moves would increase the number of federal agencies allowed to use the approved devices, although — as the Journal notes — those users represent a relatively small market. But while Pentagon approval may not result in an immediate sales spike for either company, it’s something of a blue ribbon in terms of security for software and devices. And it could ease the fears of businesses and other organizations looking for an alternative to BlackBerry.

I’m not at all surprised that iOS 6 would get the nod here, because Apple has made solid progress in enhancing the security of an already locked-down mobile platform. But if the Journal piece holds true, it would be a huge achievement for Samsung: The company has only recently begun to target the mobile enterprise aggressively, and it has struggled to put the finishing touches on its Knox security suite. DoD approval could signal very big things to come for the Korean manufacturer as it steps up its game in the enterprise.