BlackBerry, Boeing developing highly secure smartphone that can self-destruct


BlackBerry has confirmed it is working with US defense contractor Boeing to develop a high-security Android-based ‘black phone.’

“We’re pleased to announce that Boeing is collaborating with BlackBerry to provide a secure mobile solution for Android devices utilizing our BES12 platform,” John Chen, chairman and chief executive officer of Waterloo, Ontario-based BlackBerry, said during an earnings call.

“That by the way is all they allow me to say.”

Aimed at government agencies, the Boeing Black smartphone can self-destruct if it is tampered with, destroying all the data on it. The device also encrypts calls to keep communications and data secure.

As per an FCC filing leaked earlier this year, The Boeing Black will make use of dual SIM cards to enable users to switch between government and commercial networks. The black phone will feature a HDMI port to allow it to be connected to a TV, as well as USB, WiFi and Bluetooth.

The phone will support GSM, WCDMA and LTE, using micro SIM cards. Furthermore, the 170-gram phone packed in a 13.25 mm-thick body can be custom configured to connect with biometric sensors, such as fingerprint scanners, and satellites.

BlackBerry claimed its highly trusted BlackBerry Enterprise Service, or BES 12, will enable large corporations and government departments to manage and secure data not only on BlackBerry devices but also on Android, iOS or devices operating on a different OS.

Boeing will sell the smartphone only to “approved” purchasers including “government agencies and companies engaged in contractual activities with those agencies that are related to defense and homeland security”.