Boeing to launch its own, secure Android smartphone

You might like to think your smartphone is secure, but odds are it wouldn’t cut it for businesses that are serious about security. In the highly-specialized security market, encrypted smartphones can cost as much as $20,000. seeing a clear opening, Boeing (yes, the airplane people) has announced development of a secure smartphone based on Google’s Android operating system.

The company didn’t mention a target price for the Boeing Phone, but made it clear it would undercut the pricing on current solutions while still being too expensive for mainstream consumers. Boeing believes that by using Android with a series of security modifications, it can build a device much cheaper. Phones from the competition often run on proprietary software and require expensive back end systems.

The other primary benefit of using Android as the base for the device is that employees will actually use it. as consumer technology has advanced, IT departments have been forced to cope with people wanting to use their personal technology more than what is provided for them. You can give people the most secure device on the market, but if the user experience is bad, they’re just going to use their personal devices.

Going with Android, Boeing believes that it can make secure devices more appealing to users, thus improving security for businesses that adopt the Boeing Phone. Boeing was coy about discussing branding for the device, and the company isn’t exactly a name associated with smartphones, but it’s unlikely regular consumers will be buying the device anyway.

The phone is expected to launch in late 2012, and I would place a large wager that it’s going to ship with an outdated version of Android.

More at National Defense Magazine, via GeekWire

Boeing to launch its own, secure Android smartphone

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