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MWC 2015: Silent Circle launches super secure Blackphone 2 smartphone and tablet

Silent Circle, the company behind the security-focused Blackphone, is expanding its portfolio of devices this year.

The Swiss-based firm plans to launch the second iteration of its smartphone handset and also a tablet device.

Read more: Blackphone launching privacy-focused app store in 2015

The original Blackphone was launched in June last year and promised a host of security and privacy-centric features. The smartphone utilised its own operating system, dubbed PrivatOS, which is a modified version of Google’s Android OS and its own app store. Users also benefit from anonymous searching, encrypted phone calls and private cloud storage.

Blackphone 2 is scheduled to launch this summer and is expected to have a 64-bit processor, a 5.5-inch display and other specs that improve upon its predecessor. It is also likely to use PrivatOS 1.1, the latest version of the firm’s bespoke operating system, which launched earlier this week. This will incorporate a new feature known as “Spaces,” that enables users to partition their phone into personal and professional sections. It is expected to retail for approximately $629 (£400).

The Blackphone+ tablet, meanwhile, is due for release in autumn this year and concrete information on the device is proving hard to come by. It is thought the tablet will boast an 8-inch display, but it is currently unclear as to whether it will have a 4:3 or 16:9 aspect ratio.

Regardless of the specs, Silent Circle will be hoping that the current security climate will foster interest in its new smartphone and tablet. The high-profile hack of Sony Pictures late last year, alongside continued fears over government surveillance is likely to provide Blackphone 2 and the Blackphone+ tablet with a more receptive audience.

That being said, the company has had to fight off accusations that its security claims are lacking in substance. At last year’s DefCon hacking conference, it was claimed that the original Blackphone could be hacked in less than five minutes.

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

Silent Circle will be hoping that its new products withstand greater scrutiny than that when they launch later this year.

Barclay has been writing about technology for a decade, starting out as a freelancer with IT Pro Portal covering everything from London’s start-up scene to comparisons of the best cloud storage services.  After that, he spent some time as the managing editor of an online outlet focusing on cloud computing, furthering his interest in virtualization, Big Data, and the Internet of Things.