Being incognito with the Blackphone
In a time wherein privacy and data issues are becoming more and more important, manufacturer Silent Circle recently introduced a new smartphone on the market that is called the Blackphone.
The Blackphone isn’t just a random smartphone. Since the smartphone market is dealing with fierce competition, the people behind Silent circle may have thought that differentiation could do the trick in entering this market. So the question arises; what is it that makes the manufacturer think that the Blackphone will find a place in the though smartphone market?
Like Silent Circle parades ‘Blackphone is the world’s first smartphone to put privacy and control ahead of everything else. Ahead of carriers. Ahead of advertising.’ (blackphone.ch, 2014)
What becomes clear is contrast to other smartphone developers, Silent Circle put privacy concern ahead of other specifications. With this business model, the Blackphone responses to the longing of the customer for data privacy. Herewith, the Blackphone thus seems to response to the long tail of the mobile phone market.
The Blackphone runs on a customized version of Android. The user of the mobile phone can operate without being watched or traced due to the encryption of calls, texts, emails and Internet browsing. The phone seemed not to be secured enough in the first instance, since hackers succeed to hack the system. However, after cooperation with the hackers Silent Circle succeed to make an ‘incognito’ mobile phone.
Since the release late june 2014, the sales numbers are all except disappointing. CEO Mike Janke recently stated that his firm is, despite their role as newcomer in the market, already making profit. Moreover, Janke pronounced that he expects that the next year a total of 2 million Blackphones will be sold.
I think that the business model of Silent Circle, and thus the Blackphone concept, stands or falls by the question whether they will be able to maintain the status of ‘being safe and secured’. So potential hacking attacks might affect the success of the Blackphone in a crucial way.
How do you guy’s think about this recent phone launch? Would you consider to buy a Blackphone or do you think that privacy concerns play a less important role in the process of choosing a new mobile phone?
Poort, F. (2014) http://www.nutech.nl/reviews/3721625/review-beveiligd-mobiel-verkeer-met-silent-text-en-phone.html, 13 october 2014
Kraan, J. (2014) http://www.nutech.nl/mobiel/3901764/volgend-jaar-2-miljoen-beveiligde-blackphones-verkocht-.html, 13 october 2014
Author unknown (2014) https://www.blackphone.ch, 13 octover 2014