A new smartphone with advanced technology and security is launched by British-Israeli start-up Sirin Labs, with a price tag close to $20,000. Matthew Stock reports.
A new smartphone aimed at executives promises unprecedented levels of technology and security. British-Israeli start-up Sirin Labs raised $72 million in private funds to launch their luxury Solarin smartphone. And it has a price tag to match its ambitions - retailing close to $20,000. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CO FOUNDER AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER TAL COHEN SAYING: "Our phone, because it's made of the most advanced technologies, because it's made of the most fine materials has a price tag and manufacturing costs which is multiples of the costs of mass market phones." The phone is based on the Android operating system and will run technology two to three years in advance of the mass market, the makers say. They believe executives in the U.S. and Europe will be willing to pay for the advanced encryption the device offers. The cost of being hacked, they say, could be more expensive in terms of information lost. (SOUNDBITE) (English) SIRIN LABS CO-FOUNDER MOSHE HOGEG SAYING: "We are here to protect the business community or people that have a lot of sensitive information, photos, emails, those are private stuff, you want to feel private, everyone wants to feel private but the solutions that we have today are simply not good enough". Even so, the device is not designed to be "unbreakable", and government-level technology could still crack it. (SOUNDBITE) (English) SIRIN LABS CO-FOUNDER MOSHE HOGEG SAYING: "Our phone, Solarin, is not to protect you from governments, meaning a government that has a super computer and most governments have a super computer, if they put enough resources they can break anything, including our phone. We couldn't hack it but we're sure that the government with the right tools can hack it. Nothing is unbreakable". Sirin Labs is opening its first store in London's Mayfair. Luxury phones can sell for huge amounts, such as Apple's iPhone 5 Black Diamond that went for $15.3 million. But these gold and diamond encrusted phones are sold more for status rather than performance. Sirin Labs says the value of their smartphone is what's happening on the inside as well as out.