We all know Boeing as a company that makes airplanes however its upcoming product which is simply called “Black” is not an airplane but rather an Android smartphone. As early as 2012 Boeing executives announced that they were developing a secure Android device and right now that device has just appeared at the FCC website.
A February 24 filing at the FCC reveals a device called the Boeing Company Black Smartphone which is undergoing certification. Details of this upcoming smartphone are still under wraps however we do know that it will be running on Android (although this was not mentioned in the FCC filing) and will behave dual-SIM functionality. This allows consumers to easily separate work and business contacts without carrying two phones. It is going to use a micro-SIM and will be compatible with GSM, WCDMA, and LTE networks.
Boeing counsel Bruce Olcott wrote a letter to the FCC saying that “Boeing’s Black phone will be sold primarily to government agencies and companies engaged in contractual activities with those agencies that are related to defense and homeland security. The device will be marketed and sold in a manner such that low-level technical and operational information about the product will not be provided to the general public.”
He also added that it is going to be sold as a sealed device and that buyers will have to sign an end user non-disclosure agreement. “There are no serviceable parts on Boeing’s Black phone, and any attempted servicing or replacing of parts would destroy the product. Any attempt to break open the casing of the device would trigger functions that would delete the data and software contained within the device and make the device inoperable.”
To make sure that the device internals stay confidential Boeing has requested the FCC not to reveal the internal photos or operational description of the device.
Boeing previously announced that their goal was to make a secure device that was not expensive. Other highly secure and encrypted smartphones usually sell for $15,000 to $20,000. The company wants to bring this price down but not all the way to consumer price levels.