Silent Circle And Geeksphone Start Blackphone Shipments

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Initial demand outstrips supply but SGP Technologies promises more will be available from 14 July

The Blackphone is now being shipped to customers who pre-ordered the privacy-focused device, with the promise that more will be available to purchase from 14 July.

SGP Technologies, the Swiss-based joint-venture between security firm Silent Circle and Spanish smartphone manufacturer Geeksphone, says its initial inventory sold out quickly in the months that followed the phones’ unveiling at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in February and hailed the first shipments as a “key milestone.”

Blackphone shipments

Blackphone booth MWC“Blackphone’s arrival puts mobile privacy directly in the hands of professionals and consumers everywhere,” says CEO Toby Weir-Jones. “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.”

Blackphone uses PrivatOS, a custom operating system based on Android 4.4 KitKat and comes equipped with Silent Phone and Silent Text applications to encrypt voice and video calls and text messages, even with attachments.

A smart Wi-Fi manager prevents hotspots from capturing information from the device, while a security centre gives users great control over application permissions. The Blackphone can be remotely wiped, while there is secure private cloud storage through SpiderOaks.

Silent Circle recently raised £17.8 million in funding in order to expand its operations and meet demand for the Blackphone, while it is also moving its headquarters from the Caribbean island of Nevis to Switzerland, citing the alpine country’s strong privacy laws as a reason for the relocation.

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