Privacy-focused Blackphone maker plans tablet 'soon'

09/10/14

blackphone

The company behind the privacy-focused Blackphone has told Newsbeat it is planning to release a tablet.

Jon Callas, co-founder of Silent Circle which makes the anti-snooping device, said "we are going to have a tablet soon".

The Blackphone offers users encrypted calls, text messages and extra protection when browsing the web.

Mr Callas hinted there could also be further versions of the Blackphone in the works.

"Blackphone as it is, is our first device not our last device," he said.

Since going on sale in June 2014, the Blackphone has been selling "very well" according to Jon, but he admitted the device has limited appeal.

"We expect that it is going to be a niche, but it's a larger niche every day."

The Blackphone runs a modified version of the Android operating system, but without Google apps.

Jon Callas, co-founder of Silent Circle
Image caption Jon Callas, co-founder of Blackphone maker Silent Circle told Newsbeat "We've been very fortunate that we've been on the early edge of a wave."

Jon Callas said despite the relatively limited number of apps available, the Blackphone offers users greater choice.

"You can have social media apps which can't get to your contacts, game which can't get to your network."

With no further details available on the forthcoming products from Silent Circle, potential customers will just have to wait and see.

Revelations by former US National Security Agency employee Edward Snowden raised a fresh awareness of privacy and data security.

"They have shown that we were onto something," said Jon Callas, acknowledging the timing has helped the company's sales.

"We've been very fortunate that we've been on the early edge of a wave."

At the Defcon conference in August 2014 there were claims the Blackphone had been hacked.

Silent Circle President Phil Zimmerman said despite the phone being touted as the most secure available, government intelligence agencies could still potentially gain access to it.

He said in a BBC interview "If they really wanted to attack just your phone... they would find a way in."

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