18 Apr Want a Defence-Grade Secure Android? Boeing has the answer.
The Aerospace superpower that brought us jets, commercial aircraft, spacecraft and military aircraft are now entering a new frontier in security: the smartphone market.
Originally reported by National Defense Magazine, The Boeing Company is currently developing a smartphone based on the Android operating system to compete with other manufacturers offering highly secure communication devices. According to Brian Palma, VP of the company’s secure infrastructure group, competitors offering similar secure, encrypted devices are charging $15,000 to $20,000 per device and are using proprietary software and hardware. Boeing seeks to “drive down to a lower price point, but… not a mass-market price point”.
This was later confirmed to GeekWire by a Boeing spokeswoman via email; “We are developing a trusted mobile device that will serve the US Government Defense and Security market, which require a higher level of security than is currently available in the commercial marketplace.”
Why Android? While their main target market is government, military and intelligence, Boeing sees interest also stemming from high level enterprises as well. It is for this reason that Boeing decided to use Android as the operating system. Palma told reporters that Android was chosen because the users of these high-end phones want the same ability to use popular applications while knowing that their business communications are secure. At least the James Bonds of the world can now have super secure Facebook sessions.
The phone will “give them what they are used to seeing [on consumer market smartphones] and give them the functionality from the security perspective,” Roger Krone, president of Boeing Network and Space Systems added.
The “Boeing Phone” is expected to be released late 2012.