Big Tech Companies Blackberry, Samsung, IBM Collaborate To Unveil High-Security Tablet

By @ibtimesau on
IN PHOTO: A BlackBerry salesperson displays a BlackBerry Z10 during the launch of the BlackBerry 10 smartphone in Mumbai February 25, 2013. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

Canadian phone maker BlackBerry Ltd. has collaborated with IBM and Samsung to work on a spy-proof tablet for government and corporate users. The technology will allow users to browse through consumer applications but will work to maintain the confidentiality of their work-related information from spies and hackers.

The device, dubbed the ‘SecuTABLET,’ isn’t actually a new BlackBerry design but a high-security version of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S 10.5. It uses IBM's "secure app wrapping technology" and BlackBerry 10’s Secusmart Security Card technology.

"With the new secure tablet for national and international public sector markets and enterprises, data that is subject to special security requirements can be used on the move," BlackBerry owned-company Secusmart said in a statement. Hans-Christoph Quelle, head of BlackBerry’s Secusmart unit, told Bloomberg the SecuTABLET, priced 2,250-euro (AU$3,114), will be available by the third quarter. “At that price, the device clearly targets a niche market of high-end users with the need for better-than-average security,” Top Tech News said.

Secusmart installs a small chipcard to make its devices safe and useful at the same time. The card or technology encrypts voice and data and is developed hard to corrupt by malware targeting the operating system. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and members of her government have received BlackBerry 10 devices modified in such a manner.

Germany will receive over 10,000 units annually starting 2016. International Business Machines Corp., which handles sales to companies worldwide, will sell the higher number, Quelle added. The device is currently being evaluated by Germany’s computer-security watchdog German Federal Office for Information Security for classified government communication. The company expects to receive the approval before yearend.

“For many of the tasks that officials and executives need to carry out, a phone just isn’t enough -- they want a tablet,” Quelle said at the CeBIT technology conference in Hanover, Germany. “The most important thing is that we combine security with usability. We don’t want to take the fun things away from people.”

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