BlackBerry’s sister firm Secusmart launched a high-security tablet similar to Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 at the CeBIT 2015 show in Dusseldorf. The new tablet is called the SecuTablet. The device was developed in collaboration with IBM. It is targeted at national and worldwide public sector markets and businesses.
IBM provided the secure app wrapping tech and it also assisted in implementing Secusmart’s high-security systems for a select number of government sector clients.
The SecuTablet comes with special security features that capable of protecting data belonging to businesses and government, while at the same time allowing users access to social media and other non-secure personal apps.
Watch this video where Dr. Christoph Erdmann from Secusmart introduces the new SecuTablet at CeBIT 2015 trade show:
The tablet is expected to hit the market in the third-quarter this year and it will cost about US$2,360.
Very important customers
The device, which is compatible with BlackBerry 10, is built around Samsung’s proven Galaxy Tab hardware and design. It has Secusmart microSD card, along with IBM software, to protect the data stored on the device from prying eyes. Secusmart’s chipcard, which also encrypts voice and data, cannot be corrupted even by a malware that otherwise could get into the operating system.
Secusmart CEO Hans-Christoph Quelle stated that the tablet has security system embedded in every part of it. BlackBerry has been associated with a service that is providing top-notch voice and data encryption. As a result, the new device is bound to be the preferred choice of people who think their privacy is prime.
Quelle also admitted to working closely with IBM and Samsung and said that they have added the last link in the chain of the Federal Security Network.
He also revealed that Germany could be adopting the device for its government officials. “Subject to certification of the SecuTablet, German government agencies will have a new way to access BlackBerry’s most secure and complete communications network in the world,” he said.
Replay the Playbook?
The SecuTablet is not BB’s first venture into the tablet market. The company had launched Playbook tablet back in 2011, and though the gadget was quite a hit in Canada, it failed to reach sales targets and its production was stopped in 2014. Even then, the new tablet reflects that device – but is more than a replay.
The device has taken BB in a new direction, according to Steve Blum, who is principal analyst at the Tellus Venture Associates. He said BB is finally coming up with something they have been talking about for the last three years. They are back to focusing on their core specialty – high security – and then working with others to hit sales across the globe.
The device is manufactured by Samsung and the OS appears to be Android (yet to be confirmed) and the apps or security system shell the apps run in is from IBM.
Meeting enterprise security requirements
IBM’s recent poll shows that 63% of governmental respondents said there was need for software to make mobiles more secure. And, BlackBerry thinks, the security platform could just fit the bill. “That system, and the proprietary technology it’s based on, is BlackBerry’s crown jewel,” said Blum.
However, some security analysts are still apprehensive. They warned that there are limitations in tablets. Roger Entner, principal analyst at Recon Analytics, said that BlackBerry tablet “is kind of a solution that is still looking for a problem.” He said tablets are still predominantly content consumption devices.
He said that tablets are used in the enterprise space at a small scale and they are yet to replace laptops. This could be because of lack of applications that are high on security.
Meanwhile, some other feared that the market would not respond positively to SecuTablet, even as the company could get high volume order from few clients. Blum thinks that since the SecuTablet is a niche device, it will only appeal to a section of people who need access to highly secure data. He added also that being a media consumption gadget, the SecuTablet will find its niche.
He said it could become a substitute for paper copies of documents. “A key feature is that a document cannot leave a device that it’s sent to, preventing unauthorized sharing,” Blum said. “That kind of network security is an additional protection on top of the encryption and access control that any tablet could support.”
Have a look at this infographics from Secusmart highlighting the SecuTablet features: