Opinion: Why the Blackphone makes business sense

by Ben Sullivan| 25 February 2014

Getting a bundle of these could be perfect for small firms and startups.

The official unveiling of the Blackphone took place yesterday at Mobile World Congress (MWC).

From the makers of Silent Circle encrypted communications and Spanish smartphone start up Geeksphone, the Blackphone is touted as the world's first smartphone which "places privacy and control directly in the hands of its users."

Running on a forked version of Android called PrivatOS, the Blackphone comes with an array of apps that allow for secure, encrypted communications between Blackphone devices.

Its supporters are calling it the fightback, the start of the end of the mobile data haul where users' data is monetised and profiles are built around their search habits.

But one thing struck me at today's conference that wasn't so much around the privacy features, but rather the price.

For $629, you are actually getting just over $1500 worth of features. Buyers will get two years of Silent Circle subscription, which normally comes in at around $240, and two years of free Spideroak cloud storage at 5GB/month.

Add two years of Disconnect Wi-Fi usage at 1GB/month for free thrown in and you`ve got yourself a bargain.

Along with what's a very secure, easily manageable phone, this makes perfect sense for small businesses or startups. Every employee will be on the same platform, with the knowledge that all the company's data and information is secure, with a remote wipe capability, and everything stored with the same secure cloud firm.

The Blackphone also ships with the Smart Wi-Fi Manager, meaning even at public hotspots, users know their data is safe. Even if Blackphone HQ is hacked, the company does not keep users' keys, so there's no entry there either for hackers and criminals.

"If you want to whisper in someones ear from 10,000 miles away, we can do that," said Silent Circle head Phil Zimmermann at the conference.

"This is a real product, not a hobby or lifestyle project," he said.

Blackphone specs:

CPU: 2GHz quad-core
Display: 4.7" HD IPS
LTE: Yes
HSPA+: Yes
Wi-Fi: 802.11n
Bluetooth: 4.0
Cameras: 8MP Flash front camera, rear camera
Storage: 16GB

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