Boeing to release 'self-destruct' smartphone

Better known for its commercial airplanes and aerospace technology, Boeing said it wanted to give organizations a trusted and secure smartphone to "accomplish their mission."
By Ananth Baliga  |  Updated Feb. 27, 2014 at 12:23 PM
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SEATTLE, Feb. 27 (UPI) -- Boeing is entering the smartphone market with the Boeing Black, designed to secure secret communications for its defense and security customers.

The phone, which will not be available to retail customers, will run on a modified Android platform with its own branded security apps. Boeing didn't even make a public announcement and chose to put up specification of the phone on their website -- which does not mention a release date or price.

The device took Boeing 36 months to develop and will have two SIM cards -- enabling users to switch between government and commercial networks. The body would allow users to attache external devices such as advanced location tracking, solar charging, satellite transceivers and biometric sensors.

The phone will be 5.2 inches long, 50 percent heavier than the iPhone 5s and twice as thick. Taking security measures to a "Mission Impossible-level," the phone will have a self-destruct feature which will destroy all of its contents if the phone is tampered with.

"Any attempt to break open the casing of the device would trigger functions that would delete the data and software contained within the device and make the device inoperable."

Boeing has said that it plans to keep the phone's technology secret and that the product will be sold "in a manner such that low-level technical and operational information about the product will not be provided to the general public."

This will make it difficult to confirm all the security measures Boeing claims the phone possesses, as experts and security researchers will be unable to test it. But as Boeing has provided secure communications for U.S. government officials -- including the president -- customers can likely rest assured it will be a secure smartphone.

[MarketWatch] [BBC] [Boeing]

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