Chinese manufacturer Gionee is set to release a new phone that may be the safest smartphone ever, at least according to the company’s claims. If correctly put into practice, it could result in a new level of security to consumer smartphones.
Software is the modern approaches to security for smartphones. Even the ones that are hardware-related, like Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint scanner, aren’t protecting the data once you get past the lock screen.
The Gionee M6 launched July 26th, and uses an encrypted chip to secure the personal data of the user on the device. The M6 was rumored on Chinese social network site Weibo, when the device’s renderings were leaked to the site. However, shortly after Gionee’s vice president Yu Lei confirmed these rumors.
The Gionee M6 specs
The full details on this phone have not yet been released by the company, but generally the idea behind hardware encryption is that it is self-contained and potentially it could shrink the attack surface for a device.
According to a press release announcing the device, “As far as we know, the hardware encryption operation is completed in the security encryption chip, so it is equivalent to a black box, and the process won’t be hijacked. Whereas software encryption takes place at the operating system, so it has more risks to be peaked or hijacked.”
In the wake of Apple’s battle with the FBI pertaining to encrypting conversations, the desire of mobile security is at an all time high. The Secure Enclave is Apple’s hardware security measure, which is a separate CPU within the A7 chips running cryptographic operations and handling the biometric data for iPhones.
Despite the security features that already exist, both Google and Apple have both taken more steps recently to secure the mobile devices that run their operating systems. The security capabilities have increased on the Androids, with integration of Samsung Knox, new update system, and the use of ARM’s TrustZone.
In addition, a number of Android devices that are ultra secure have recently made it to market that includes the Silent Circle’s Blackphone, Solarin smartphone, Boeing Black, and the Turing Phone. Despite this, less than 10 percent of Android phones have proper encryption. Recently there have been revelations made about malware strains that infect millions of Android phones.
Gionee claims that the M6 is likely the safest smartphone ever, which is a very bold statement. However, should they achieve what they are trying to do, in the future there could be much better Android security.