BlackBerry is looking all set to launch its first Android slider smartphone in the next few months, but the journey seems tough for the Canadian smartphone maker as the market has lot of similar options to offer. On Monday, Silent Circle made available its Blackphone 2 at a pre-tax price of $799.
Blackphone 2 boasts high privacy
Silent Circle first announced the Blackphone 2 at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in March, and preorders for the device started last month. The Blackphone 2 is the first component of Silent Circle’s cloud-based Enterprise Privacy Platform, which is comprised of a suite of services, software and devices aimed at appealing to enterprise users, as they come with high levels of privacy. At the same time, it is certified with existing MDM systems, including MobileIron, Citrix, Good and SOTI.
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While the phone’s OS now looks more like another standard Android on the surface, under the hood, a key security focus differentiates it from others, asserts a spokesman for Silent Circle. “They’ve worked closer with Google than they did before, which is why you’ll see that the Android platform is a much truer version. But SilentOS… is built deep into the phone so everything that sits on it is very much an enhanced version of Android,” the executive said.
BlackBerry, Blackphone targeting enterprise users
On Friday, BlackBerry CEO John Chen finally confirmed BlackBerry’s plans to release an Android phone. The device is expected to go on sale by the end of this year in major markets. The price of the device is not known for now.
BlackBerry used to dominate the enterprise segment before falling behind Android and iOS. Silent Circle is also targeting the enterprise segment with Blackphone 2. The smartphone runs on SilentOS, which is the company’s security-hardened version of Android. It now includes Google services such as the Play Store and support for Google’s Android For Work program for checking the “mobile device management” box of the IT department.
BlackBerry, which is using the Android OS for the first time, is banking on its security capabilities to differentiate the Priv from others. However, now with Blackphone 2 claiming to offer a similar level of security and targeting the same segment, it will be challenging for BlackBerry to market its upcoming device.