Given all the news about spying and hacking, you’d think mobile users would be more conscientious of their devices and habits, and yet they are none the wiser. Having somewhat failed to corner the consumer market, Silent Circle is now targeting a more reasonable audience: the enterprise. The company will be bringing its “privacy-first” smartphone, now the upcoming Blackphone 2, to the workplace and it won’t be doing so alone. It has enlisted in Google’s Android for Work thrust, hopefully to leave a better mark in the industry.
Google unveiled Android for Work last February in an attempt to claim a rather profitable segment of the market pie: the enterprise. Conventionally seen more as an end-user consumer platform, Google wants to project an image of Android that is conducive to the workplace. That includes equipping Android and Google services for secure deployment of apps, segregation of personal and work-related content, and productivity tools.
In that context, Silent Circle’s Blackphone smartphones are a perfect fit. While the smartphones themselves aren’t completely unique, the software that runs on them, the Android-based Silent OS, is the differentiating factor. Aside from settings and apps that respect and promote the user’s privacy, Silent OS also features a “Spaces” concept that segregates personal and work life into independent and sandboxed compartments. In effect, it is exactly like Android for Work’s separation of personal and work apps and files. Silent Circle hasn’t revealed how the two similar features will work together.
The partnership could be fruitful. With the Blackphone 2, Google gets a device that’s already designed to function in the workplace. With Android for Work, Silent Circle gets a more publicized venue to market its hardware. The Blackphone 2 is set to debut sometimes in fall. This time, thanks to Android for Work, it will come with Google Play and Mobile Services pre-installed.