BlackBerry teams with Boeing for ‘self-destructing’ smartphone

BlackBerry teams with Boeing for ‘self-destructing’ smartphoneIf you thought the BlackBerry Passport was one of the strangest smartphone devices of the year, you ain’t heard nothin’ yet.

BlackBerry boss John Chen has confirmed that the Canadians are working with Boeing to provide a super-secure Android smartphone, one that’s capable of self-destruction. Amazing.

That’s the story over on Reuters, with the headline BlackBerry works with Boeing on phone that self-destructs. Yep, that's Boeing as in the passenger planes and fighter jets.

It’s not clear how exactly the phone self-destructs, though we’re assuming we’re talking about the obliteration of sensitive on-device data here, as opposed to a full-on exploding phone. That’d be, er, slightly dangerous. Awesome, but dangerous.

"We're pleased to announce that Boeing is collaborating with BlackBerry to provide a secure mobile solution for Android devices utilizing our BES 12 platform," purred BlackBerry CEO John Chen. "That, by the way, is all they allow me to say."

BES 12, or BlackBerry Enterprise Service 12 to use its full name, will ultimately allow clients to secure devices on internal networks. As Chen says, this Boeing phone is of the Android variety; iOS is supported, too.

The Boeing phone has dual SIM compatibility allowing it to connect to multiple networks, and can even hook up with satellites. Throw in a range of biometric sensors, and you have a phone we’re very much interested in playing with. Any spies out there willing to share?

Read more about: AndroidBlackBerry 10iOS

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5 comments

JanSt / MOD  Dec. 20, 2014 at 10:28

Ah, okay... why not - become a niche maker.
Maybe that'll work? Instead of trying to join the mass-sellers, become a tailor.

tapi  Dec. 20, 2014 at 12:50

Nah, they're not even doing that, Jan.
Read the article and Boeing is making their own secure android phone (along the lines of 'the black phone') and using the MDM of Blackberry's BES12 to manage it. Doesn't even sound as if they're doing anything else than provide the standard spec software, so nothing complicated from Blackberry's end.

The 'self destruct' is when tampered with, and boeing (and other defence manufacturers) have this capability sewn up, with key ICs in sensitive equipment being protected with something like a thin glass layer that can shatter and render the IC unusable.

The self destruct could be triggered remotely, so the 'secure wipe' feature of MDM could possibly be tied in - but a simple faraday bag ( http://www.jemic.com/faraday-bags.html ), which even the police use to prevent seized phones being wiped remotely, would render it useless; so it's more a physical trigger.

JanSt / MOD  Dec. 20, 2014 at 12:58

Nah, they're not even doing that, Jan.
Read the article and Boeing is making their own secure android phone (along the lines of 'the black phone') and using the MDM of Blackberry's BES12 to manage it. Doesn't even sound as if they're doing anything else than provide the standard spec software, so nothing complicated from Blackberry's end.


Yes, I wasn't entirely serious.
But in a way, I suppose, that's a role left to play: special services provider.
I reckon they could sell the Classic for £50 and it'd still flop. It would still be laughed out of the review sections ... Shame; but like Nokia, RIM wasted too much time dismissing Apple and Google...

tapi  Dec. 20, 2014 at 13:08

There's money to be had in special services (just ask the lady down my street ;) ) and it's only others that think you have to be big in the consumer space like Apple that get it wrong.

as an aside There probably would have been cries of foul and anti-competitive behaviour/snooping, but the golden triangle of Nokia, Microsoft and RIM/Blackberry would have been a good one. I wonder if MS thought Blackberry were going to actually self-destruct (pardon the pun) and hoped to scoop them up with no effort, and concentrated resources on bringing Nokia in.

SpeedyG  Dec. 22, 2014 at 14:57

Useful kit for the Bond types, I guess.

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