POSSIBLE FLOP: Blackphone to launch in the Kenya as first African country

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Introduced to the international market early this year, the Blackphone has furthered the meaning of mobile security giving mobile users hands on control of their data.  With manufacturers; Silent circle and Geekphone headquartered in Switzerland, where the laws are better designed to protect peoples’ privacy, users are definitely catered for on this one.

To stay ahead of the continually changing digital landscape, the company has built over the Air updates into the core product proposition. Kenyans will finally have the privilege to experience ‘world’s most secure smartphone in the world’ starting December 2014. This makes it the first country in Africa to get the phone after it was rolled out in Europe, Middle East and the US.

Mobile Edge systems will be Silent Circle’s Kenyan distributor of the anticipated gadget expected to be a game changer in the country’s mobile industry. However, after going through the phone’s specs myself, I think the ‘Game changer’ part is just wishful thinking.

This is why Blackphone thinks it will change the market’s tune;

Blackphone offers a simple and secure starting point for communication. The manufacturer shave combined customized operating system, PrivatOS with all leading apps designed to optimized privacy. It is also built from the ground up to be secure by design.

The specs are exactly what the market needs as solution according to Silent circle and Geekphone to offer simple and secure place for their communications. The two parties have also committed to continually ensure protection even after the roll out which is why they have termed the gadget a ‘Project’

Retail Price and worth

In order to own one, a buyer will have to part with Ksh80,000 which includes device insurance. Falling under high-end markets, the device can be compared to the blackberry one that is known for its security specs.

The device roll-out comes at a time when Privacy has become a touchy subject among mobile users with leaks of convenient information all over and system hacking rampant in the society. The device therefore hopes to close the loop hole in the industry with the new personal gadget.

Looking at the recent gadget launches, the Kenyan market really is lured by visually desirable devices which unfortunately is not the case with this one. First off, we are not talking a variety of colours or customized covers here, users will have to work with black maybe just a mixture of different types of black plastic. The spec sheet too is not one you would expect for the amount charged to acquire one.

Since the Blackphone doesn’t have Google Play access, you’ll need to get your apps elsewhere. This means sideloading or downloading APK files straight onto the device which means you’ll need to get an APK installer from somewhere or either trust a different app store. You can sideload the Play store, which won’t even load.

However, People are interested in the Blackphone because of its security-focused Android build and app suite. I am not sure how much Kenyans are willing to pay for privacy considering other options of securing personal gadgets in the market currently.

 

What is your opinion on the topic?
Winfred Kuria
Winfred Kuria is a self-constituted web content writer in charge of Tech News and Events Publicity at Kachwanya.com. She will communicate in the simplest way possible with an aim of changing the world one mind at a time.
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