The device offers to lock down security and includes cloud integration – for a price
French electronics maker Archos has entered the secure smartphone market, in partnership with Florida-based secure software developer Sikur, with the GranitePhone, which the companies claim eliminates all “loopholes” that could permit data theft.
The device, first shown at Mobile World Congress in February, is intended to compete with the likes of Silent Circle’s Blackphone and Turing Robotics’ Turing Phone – but at $849 (£557) is priced significantly higher than the Blackphone 2, at $799, and the comparable model from Turing, which costs $610.
The price is slightly less than that of Turing’s high-end model, which sells for $870, but that handset includes 128GB of internal storage, compared to GranitePhone’s 16GB.
Interest in smartphone security has heightened in recent months, in part due to a number of well publicised security holes in mobile devices, but so far the market for secure devices has remained a specialised niche.
Archos said the handset is aimed at the government, military and corporate markets, as well as individuals who want a secure device. Its specifications are similar to that of Archos’ 200-euro (£149) Diamond 50 smartphone, both of which use Qualcomm’s 64-bit, eight-core Snapdragon 615 processor and include 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, a 5-inch, Full-HD screen, 16-megapixel front and 8 MP rear cameras, a 2700-mAh battery and 4G connectivity.
GranitePhone’s selling point is the GraniteOS, a version of Android customised by Sikur. While the partners haven’t offered many details on this software so far, they noted that the device replicates all data stored internally on a cloud-based platform in encrypted form, allowing the data to be accessed from any PC, Android or iOS device using Sikur client applications.
The device itself also includes “multiple layers of protection to mitigate security issues”, Archos stated. The company didn’t disclose what version of Android was used to develop GraniteOS.
The GranitePhone is produced by Archos’ contract-manufacturing subsidiary Logic Instrument, and doesn’t bear Archos’ own logo, only that of Sikur. The website via which the companies are selling the phone designates it as the “Sikur GranitePhone”.
The device is available for pre-order until 15 November on a dedicated website.
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