Boeing phone to take flight with Android later this year
A company more known for its work in the aerospace industry is now Android's newest partner. Boeing this week announced plans to release a smartphone aimed at those requiring super-secure communications, yet the convenience of a widely used mobile operating system. Calling it the "Boeing phone", the device is slated to launch by the end of the year.
What business a company like Boeing has in hawking smartphones is unclear, but it has the market. Most of Boeing's current clients are in sectors where confidentiality and security is at a premium. Similar devices cost $15,000 to $20,000, but the Chicago based company plans to come in at a price point below that. Not something you or I could afford, mind you, but definitely more reasonable.
In an interview with National Defense Magazine, Boeing secure infrastructure group chief Brian Palma believes there will be significant interest in the defense, intelligence and even in the commercial sector. The company chose the Android operating system because it thinks clients want to use popular applications while keeping communications secure.
Palma may have not seen the latest news this week on the Android security front, though. Leviathan Security found that Android puts users at risk of having their information pilfered even if the application has no permissions to system resources. Then there's also the fact that Android is increasingly the target of malware as of late, and you have to wonder if Boeing really knows what it's getting into.
One company who might be disappointed by Boeing's announcement is Microsoft. The two companies have worked together closely over the years, and Boeing uses Microsoft's Windows Azure cloud computing platform in its manufacturing process. Could Windows Phone have provided the functionality the company desires? Probably, but it doesn't have the mass market reach of Android.
So now, if Boeing's making planes and smartphones, do we now need to worry about texting and flying. We already worry enough as it is about our pilots getting a bit too sloshed at the airport bar, but I do digress.