Silent Circle unveils BlackPhone 2, plans BlackPhone+ secure tablet, aims at business

Privacy-focused smartphone and tablet due later this year, as hackers and spies push corporate privacy up the agenda
Written by Steve Ranger, Global News Director
The BlackPhone 2.
Image: Silent Circle
Secure communications startup Silent Circle has detailed its plans for a second version of its privacy-focused smartphone and confirmed that it is also working on a tablet.

The BlackPhone 2 smartphone will arrive in the second half of this year with a focus on enterprise privacy: Silent Circle launched its first BlackPhone device at MWC last year.

The company said it will integrate with standard mobile device management systems like Citrix and will also add a faster processor, more RAM, a longer-lasting battery, and a larger display over the original model.

A secure tablet, which the company is a calling the Blackphone+, will be launched later in 2015, said Silent Circle.

The company also said it has updated PrivatOS, the Android-based operating system it has developed. Updates include 'Spaces', an OS-level virtualization and management system that can separate work and personal data, and is aimed at enterprise users. For example, IT administrators can lock and wipe enterprise managed 'Spaces' when necessary.

Thanks to the Edward Snowden revelations, which have detailed the rising level of state surveillance, and high-profile incidents like the Sony Pictures hack, privacy and security are rising up the corporate agenda.

Speaking at MWC in Barcelona, Silent Circle co-founder said Phil Zimmermann said: "Enterprise privacy is similar to individual privacy. The same technologies can protect both."

Zimmermann, better known as the developer of the PGP encryption software, added: "The recent Sony experience shows that enterprises too have a responsibility to up their game to protect the privacy of their own people and their partners."

Last week, Silent Circle announced the buyout of its SGP Technologies joint venture with Geeksphone. The company also announced it had raised $50m to support further growth.

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