By Helen Gaskell
Stealth phone will only be available to enterprise market and government bodies
Secure mobile phone brand Blackphone is soon to be launch in the Gulf region, according to the company's CEO.
The Blackphone, which will only be available to the enterprise market and government departments in this region and is set to be distributed "very soon", is a smartphone developed by Switzerland-based SGP Technologies, that provides encryption for phone calls, emails, texts, and internet browsing, and runs on an Android OS variant, PrivatOS. Internet access is via VPN.
Speaking to ITP.net about the phone, Mike Janke, co-founder and CEO, described it as something that never existed before.
"Nobody has ever built a phone that can completely secure all your mobile activity, surfing, calls texts, contacts list and files you sent. The Blackphone allows you to protect intellectual property," he said.
When asked whether he thought other companies will follow suit and produce their own stealth phones, he said: "They can't. Samsung, HTC, Sony and Apple are not in the business of making a secure phone, the nature of their business is that they need access to your data in order to sell you iTunes and Google play services.
"Just like you are never going to see a Blackphone electric car as we're not in the business of making electric cars, It doesn't mean they don't have the technology prowess to do it, it's just that they would have to be built first as a security company. 98% of Google's revenue is from your data, we are the first company in the world to build a smartphone and we have no data on a customer at all, we don't even know who you are."
According to Janke, users won't notice a difference when using the Blackphone as "it looks, feels, smells and tastes like just like Android you're used to." However, it uses a version of Android called PrivatOS. Users will be able to download Facebook but Facebook will get no data from them.
The Amazon app store is also available on the phone as well as the One Plus market, but not Google as Google asks for data.
No dates have been confirmed yet as to when the Blackphone will be distributed to companies in the region Janke also said that there will be a tablet launched by the company soon.
VPN access is illegal in UAE because it bypasses government control.