The original Blackphone was announced during last year’s MWC by encrypted communications and privacy software company Silent Circle. At the time it had formed a joint venture with Geeksphone, the Spanish handset maker. Now a year later, Silent Circle has made several important announcements including plans for the Blackphone 2.
The Blackphone 2 improves on the specifications of the original Blackphone in several key areas. The Blackphone 2 will use an octa-core processor, have 3GB of RAM, a Full HD display, and a bigger battery. Like the original Blackphone, the Blackphone 2 will run Silent Circle’s security hardened fork of Android called PrivatOS, along with its suite of communications apps and services.
Silent Circle made the Blackphone 2 announcement at the Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona where it also demonstrated a prototype eight-inch tablet device, the Blackphone+, which will be released later in the year. Since the word “phone” is in the brand name, it looks like Silent Circle’s marketing department has had a hard time coming up with a proper name for the tablet. Blackphone+ seems completely unrelated to tablets and will likely be interpreted by the uninitiated as a reference to a larger screen version of the Blackphone, but no, it is a tablet. How the marketing department managed to miss the obvious “Blackphone Tab” moniker is a mystery.
We are more than just a device company. We are more than just a software company. We are an enterprise privacy company.
The Blackphone 2 and Blackphone+ announcements were made after the recent news that Silent Circle raised $50 million in funding and as a result is buying out its hardware partner Geeksphone, so that it now has full control of the Blackphone business. Geeksphone co-founder Javier Agüera, as well as some of Geeksphone’s other staff will move over to the new wholly owned Silent Circle business.
The new devices are part of a shift in direction for Silent Circle. Until now the company focused on prosumers who wanted to guarantee their privacy and security. However now Silent Circle is making a push for the enterprise market. As a result it has started talking about the “world’s first enterprise privacy platform.” Silent Circle sees this enterprise privacy platform as a combination of software, services and devices. The goal is to help enterprises “achieve real privacy without compromising productivity.”
“We are more than just a device company. We are more than just a software company. We are an enterprise privacy company. And to build a truly private product, you have to build a truly private company,” said Silent Circle in recently published report.