Startup Sirin Labs will bring its Solarin smartphones to market in May, offering users who can afford them an ultra-secure, luxury-styled device that will cost $10,000 to $20,000 each.
The company, which has released no details about the phone, its technology features, its appearance or its specifications, is backed by about $72 million in investment and plans to unveil the handsets and a flagship store in London sometime in May, according to its Website.
"Unlike mainstream technology companies where price is paramount, Sirin Labs doesn't need to wait a couple of years before bringing the most advanced technology to its customers," CEO Tal Cohen said in a statement. "We can offer them tomorrow's technology, today. Cost doesn't influence our decision-making; optimal functionality and quality do."
That's the idea behind the upcoming Sirin Solarin smartphones, which are being created by "a network of highly skilled suppliers and partners capable of the most intricate engineering and united by a common determination that complexity must not stand in the way in the pursuit of excellence, combined with a refusal to accept compromise," said Cohen.
The phone is the result of two-and-a-half years of research and development, the company said in an April 25 announcement. The idea for the high-security smartphone was inspired in 2013 when the mobile phone of Kenges Rakishev, co-founder and chairman of the board of the company, was hacked, inspiring him to pursue more secure alternatives, according to the company.
He contacted Moshe Hogeg, an Israeli technology venture capitalist, about his idea, and then later connected with Cohen, bringing the three together to create Sirin, according to the company. Their idea brought together the latest technology and encryption along with high-style to develop their vision for the Solarin.
Sirin Labs, which has registered offices in Switzerland and is based in London and Israel, did not respond immediately to an April 25 email inquiry from eWEEK about the smartphones.
The handsets, which will be aimed at executives, will sell for up to $20,000 each, according to an April 25 article by Reuters.
"[Our] smartphone ... brings the most advanced technology available—even if it is not commercially available—and combining it with almost military-grade security," Hogeg, who is Sirin's co-founder and president, told Reuters.
Hogeg also told the news service that the new phone "will be based on the Android operating system and run otherwise unspecified technology two to three years in advance of the mass market," according to the report.
Hogeg said the high price tag of the phones will be seen as worthwhile by corporate executives "since the cost of being hacked could be more expensive in terms of information lost," the story reported.
Other high-security and luxury smartphones have been on the market in recent years, including the $799 Blackphone 2 privacy-centric handset, unveiled in September 2015. The Blackphone 2, sold by Silent Circle, runs on its own Enterprise Privacy Platform (EPP), a cloud-based combination of software, services and devices that enable a deeper level of privacy than other devices, according to an earlier eWEEK story. It includes full device encryption by default using Silent Circle's Silent OS operating system and Android technologies.
Luxury smartphone makers in recent years include several fancy, over-the-top lifestyle phones that have been sold by a small number of luxury goods makers who build their phones with adornments, such as ostrich skin coverings, titanium bodies, and diamond- or emerald-encrusted cases. The luxury phones, which have ranged in price from about $6,900 to more than $250,000, come from makers such as England's Vertu and Switzerland's Savelli.