Blackphone is the result of collaboration between Silent Circle, an anti-NSA encryption powerhouse, and Geeksphone a company founded and owned by an ex tech prodigy. The phone is already being shipped around the world and the initial inventory reveals that it is “sold out.”
Although security-conscious cell phones have always been in demand but the idea was seriously put into production after the global NSA surveillance attempts were revealed by former security agent Edward Snowden.
Makers of Blackphone state that its design is minimalistic and it only utilizes the standard Android-based operating system. According to a company official Blackphone is “an unparalleled product ideal for information workers, executives, public figures, and anyone else unwilling to give up their privacy.”
Their website focuses on the anti-spying feature of Blackphone: “Reclaim the power of choice. Now only you decide what to share, what to communicate, and what to keep entirely to yourself.”
The development program was kept confidential probably because the Swiss-based producers of Blackphone wanted to create an aura of mystique about their product. This strategy has led a majority to believe that this phone is NSA-proof as well, which is a claim that the inventors did not officially endorsed.
The reviewers who were lucky enough to hold and use this phone have arrived on their verdicts.
Prominent technology platform Ars Technica state: “If you’re running a small or medium-sized business and are looking for a consumer device that can help protect your data, the Blackphone is a good option.”
“Is this the phone you give your parents or kids to help protect their privacy? Maybe, if you’re not afraid of doing a bit of pre-configuration and coaching. But you’re probably better off just configuring the phones they already have.”
Reviewers are of the opinion that the phone’s sealed OS largely foils data leaks despite the fact that this device sports a sparse and a bit out-dated interface.
Silent Circle’s encoding methods have also been praised as these encode all the calls, text messages and contacts transferred to-and-from the phone or stored on the memory. The California-based company has utilized the same technology for creating an email service which it called-off last year due to NSA’s demand for access. This system makes emails difficult to be breached. Moreover, Blackphone offers the users complete control over the masts and wireless networks it connects to. This prevents leaking out of the users wireless connection history and exposure of their travelling patterns and locations.
The biggest drawback is the phone’s steep price tag of $630. Its other specs aren’t much impressive but we also know that specs are not the actual USP of Blackphone.
The price, nonetheless, hasn’t affected the sales. That’s why the manufacturing team, headed by Javier Agüera, the founder of niche smartphone making company Geeksphone, is unable to meet the demand.
There is not information about the number of phone sets sold but the company reveals that it cannot take any more orders until the mid of this month.
It may mean that the SGP technologies’ spy-resistant phone has gone mainstream already or may be it is only a stylish gadget for technopiles but the impact is definitely huge.
Ars Technica added: “What’s really important in the end about the Blackphone is that it has made the idea of a privacy-focused phone a reality—and it opens a conversation about what security technology can do for average people.”
Blackphone’s launch will force bigger players to induce more efforts on enhancing the privacy level for reaching a wider audience. However in the meantime, SGP Technologies CEO Toby Weir-Jones is quite sure that Blackphone’s has put “mobile privacy directly in the hands of professionals and consumers everywhere.”
Toby Weir-Jones further added while launching this phone:
“In a world where devices and apps increasingly offer features only in return for users’ personal or sensitive information, the pent-up demand for Blackphone shows there is strong, international demand for our brand’s devices and services that stand apart by placing privacy before all else.”
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