The “unhackable” Turing Phone might be all hype and no show. The Turing Robotic Industries device was supposed to ship by December 18 2015, but was subsequently delayed until 2016, and has now been delayed again. After the first delay, it was expected the phone would reach buyers by April 2016. Now, that date has slipped to the end of May, or into June.
An email has apparently been sent to anyone who pre-ordered the phone, asking for patience in the lead up to the launch, according to ZDNet. The company is beginning to see some of its initial 12,000 buyers cancel orders, after offering a full refund to those dismayed by the earlier delay. Those who stayed got a free upgrade — meaning if you ordered the 16GB model, you’ll get the 64GB version. Likewise, if you grabbed the 64GB model, you’ll be upgraded to 128GB. And if you happened to order the 128GB model, you’ll get the limited edition Turing Phone. That’s a pretty good offer, considering the jump in storage sizes for the device is $130.
The Turing Phone is pretty unique — It’s made from Liquidmorphium, a liquid metal, and sports a sleek, futuristic design. But the smartphone’s key feature is security. its software protection. TRI’s security-focused UI acts as a secure space that offers email, messaging, and its own social network. It encrypts data stored on the device, and also features the company’s own end-to-end encryption, which has a public key and private key.
There is another alteration which may upset Turing Phone buyers. Android has been swapped for Jolla’s more secure Sailfish operating system, which has recently closed a $12 million funding round, ensuring the Android-alternative’s future. This will likely mean the Turing Phone won’t have Google Play installed, although it’s possible to side-load the store on Sailfish-powered devices.
“The Turing Phone isn’t just a hardware device, it’s the perfect blend of both hardware and software. While we have achieved the claims we’ve made earlier this year — from our signature Liquidmorphium frame to the waterproof feature, the last remaining developmental step is our OS and the security platform,” said Syl Chao, the CEO of TRI, adding “TRI needs more time to make sure when the Turing Phone is delivered it’ll be one of the best mobile devices ever conceived.”
We’ll keep you updated on the status of the Turing Phone, as we learn more.
Updated on 05-04-2016 by Andy Boxall: Added in news of further shipping delays, and an OS swap to Jolla’s Sailfish