Security-focused Blackphone starts shipping

blackphone-yatayBlackphone, a mobile device that features privacy measures for secure communication and browsing, has started shipping to the first bulk to pre-order customers. The handset which carries a price tag of $629 for basic version boasts PrivatOS, a security-focused version of Android KitKat, and an encrypted cloud storage service.

Manufactured by SGP Technologies, a joint product of Spanish maker Geeksphone and digital security expert Silent Circle, Blackphone was first introduced to the market at the Mobile World Congress last February, The joint venture started to collect first pre-orders a month later with a promise of delivery in June 2014.

Blackphone features private encrypted voice and video calls and text messaging as well as smart wi-fi management that prevents hotspots from capturing user’s wireless connection history and other information that could be used to track users’ locations or patterns of activity and information. It also gives the owners complete control over application permissions, allowing immediate changes without rebooting or reinstalling, and offering private browsing protection from invasive web monitoring tools by hiding users’ IP address, browser cookies and personal information.

Blackphone comes with a tailor-made VPN to prevent eavesdropping, and SpiderOak’s private encrypted cloud service to store private files.

On the hardware side, the handset catches up with the high-end competition with quad-core 2GHz processor, 1GB of RAM, 2000 mAh battery and a 4.7 inch display.

“We are excited to achieve this key milestone on schedule and ship a remarkable device to customers that is the result of an unprecedented combination of privacy and mobile innovations and visionaries,” said Toby Weir-Jones, CEO of SGP Technologies. “Blackphone’s arrival puts mobile privacy directly in the hands of professionals and consumers everywhere. 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.”

Manufacturer SGP Technologies is based in Geneva, Switzerland, with major operations in Madrid and Washington, DC and staff in San Francisco, and cities throughout Europe, East Asia, and North America.

For a closer look at Blackphone, you may take a look at the video below where Geeksphone co-founder Javier Agüera Reneses tells the tech behind the handset during the MWC’14 in Barcelona earlier this year.

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