Boeing Signs Up BlackBerry For ‘Self-Destructing Smartphone’

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Boeing Black promises extra security for privacy-conscious customers, and will now feature BlackBerry’s BES 12 software

BlackBerry has announced that it will team up with Boeing to help the aircraft engineering firm develop its security-focused Boeing Black smartphone.

The handset maker will provide Boeing the latest version of its BlackBerry Enterprise Service, BES 12, which allows customers, which could include both big businesses and government agencies, to manage and secure not just BlackBerry devices on internal networks, but those that run on rival operating systems such as Android and iOS.

The Boeing Black runs a heavily-modified version of Android featuring the company’s own-branded security apps.

boeing-black-specsSafe and sound

“We’re pleased to announce that Boeing is collaborating with BlackBerry to provide a secure mobile solution for Android devices utilising our BES 12 platform,” BlackBerry CEO John Chen said on a conference call held to discuss its quarterly results.

“That, by the way, is all they allow me to say.”

The Boeing Black, which was first announced in 2012, finally revealed some details in February, and immediately hit the headlines for its ability to self-destruct if any attempt to break open the casing of the device is detected, with any forced entry triggering functions that will delete the data and software on the phone, making it inoperable.

The device, which uses dual SIM cards to enable it to access multiple cell networks and can be configured to connect with biometric sensors and satellites, encrypts calls and is aimed at government agencies and others that need to keep communications and data secure.

However, the Black will not be the only security-focused smartphone on the market upon its launch, with several other devices being announced since. This includes the similarly-named Blackphone, which looked to appeal to consumer worried about possible government surveillance of their device, offering encrypted calls, text messages and extra protection when browsing the web.

Released in the UK in July, the Blackphone quickly sold out of its initial run, with the company revealing in October that it was now planning the launch of a tablet following the success of its handset.

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Author: Mike Moore
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