Silent Circle reveals secure Blackphone tablet is on the way

Silent Circle, the developer of the privacy-focused Blackphone, has announced that it is entering the tablet market.

Jon Callas, co-founder of the company, told the BBC that the device would be ready soon, and also hinted that additional smartphones are also in development.

Read more: Hacker exploits Android and roots Blackphone at DefCon conference

Callas admitted that, since its launch in June of this year, the Blackphone had demonstrated limited appeal, but sales figures suggested demand was growing.

"We expect that it is going to be a niche, but it's a larger niche every day," he said.

Blackphone runs a modified version of Android, dubbed PrivatOS, and offers users encrypted calls and text messages alongside extra online protection. The device comes equipped with just a few Silent Circle apps and some select third party services, but the company argues that denying users access to Google's app ecosystem actually gives them more choice.

"You can have social media apps which can't get to your contacts", Callas said. "Games which can't get to your network."

Mr Callas also acknowledged that the recent Edward Snowden revelations regarding the NSA's PRISM surveillance programme had helped the Blackphone launch, declaring that "we've been on the early edge of the wave." However, some have argued that Silent Circle has misled consumers into thinking that their devices are un-hackable.

With reports that the Blackphone had been successfully hacked emerging during August's Defcon conference, Silent Circle President Phil Zimmerman admitted that government agencies probably could infiltrate the device.

"If they really wanted to attack just your phone... they would find a way in," he said.

Read more: Used phones provide hackers with personal photos, emails and more

Information is currently thin on the ground regarding Silent Circle's tablet and smartphone developments, with the release date and price tag still to be announced.