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Android Owners Get 50 GB Cloud Storage From Box

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Box is now offering 50 GB of free cloud storage to users of LG Android phones.

This offer for LG Android users mirrors the Box 50-GB offer for iPhone and iPad announced in October.

"One of the reasons we're doing this is that after our big consumer announcement for the iPhone and iPad, we looked at the data for that iOS promotion and saw a huge spike in the number of business signups," said Robin Daniels, head of enterprise product marketing at Box. "People liked it so much, they wanted to try the business edition."

Still, consumers who merely want to use the service to store photos and travel itineraries will be able to do so indefinitely for no charge. They will also be able to use it for work, as long as their requirements don't go beyond the features of the free edition.

[ Box's CEO Aaron Levie has come out swinging to challenge SharePoint. See Box CEO Sees Need For Enterprise 2.0 Revolution. ]

Box normally offers 5 GB free as its enticement for consumers and small businesses to try the product, with upgrades available to paying customers.

Unlike Dropbox, which has traditionally offered itself as a personal productivity service and only lately begun to court businesses, Box primarily targets the enterprise market. The two sound-alike products are also technically different, with Dropbox offering a simple desktop and device file synchronization capability and Box putting more emphasis on Web-based file sharing (and offers sync only to paying customers).

The Box partnership is also important to LG as it tries to establish itself as a preferred smartphone for business, said Tony Janssen, director of business development enterprise solutions team.

"Cloud services and cloud storage are a very important component of the end-user experience," Janssen said. As an entry point into the enterprise, "this takes full advantage of the consumerization of IT and the 'bring your own device' trend," he said.

The attention Box pays to issues like security also make it more likely that LG phones will be welcomed into the enterprise when they come with this application, Janssen said. That dovetails with other pioneering initiatives such as LG's partnership with Verizon to offer "dual persona" phones that keep work and personal data and applications separate, using VMware virtualization for Android. With that separation, if an employee leaves the company, "you could wipe out all the relevant work data and still leave all the personal photos and such because we're in essence running two versions of Android on the same device," he said.

A business that actively uses Box would install the app on the work instance, keeping any data downloaded through Box within the work persona, he said.

The offer is available now through March 31, 2012 to U.S. users of LG phones running Android OS 2.1 or higher, with a display resolution of at least 320x480.

Follow David F. Carr on Twitter @davidfcarr. The BrainYard is @thebyard

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