Blackphone, the smartphone brand which promises to take privacy and security seriously, is reportedly developing a tablet built on the same principles. The news comes from Jon Callas, the Chief Technology Officer for Silent Circle, a firm which collaborates with Geeksphone to produce the Blackphone. He told CNBC, “We are working on a tablet,” but quickly added there were no details available to share at this time. However, he did say the device would be targeted at the high-end of the market.
The Blackphone tablet – surely the Blacktablet – will use the PrivatOS which runs on the company’s smartphone. Together with Silent Circle’s protection, it closes any security loopholes found in the Android 4.4 software on which it’s based, keeping your data private. There are also various tools for making encrypted calls, sending encrypted messages, and private web browsing.
All this security does come at a cost. For obvious reasons, PrivatOS doesn’t provide access to Google Play, leaving it down to the user to select an alternative method of getting apps. Callas did mention a “major app store” would be a part of PrivatOS in the future, but due to the emphasis on avoiding data and security issues, it almost certainly won’t be Google Play.
This also makes us question whether there is much of a market for a security-focused tablet. Entertainment is a major reason for buying one, and the same desire for privacy on a smartphone doesn’t always extend to a device used in the home for watching a movie. The price may also be a concern. The Blackphone costs $630 without a contract, and isn’t a top-of-the-range device. Callas’ indicates the Blacktablet will be technically superior, and therefore may be even more expensive.
A release date for the Blackphone tablet isn’t known, but with CES 2015 rapidly approaching, we may find out more towards the end of the year.