'Military-Grade' Smartphone May Cost $20k

A British-Israeli start-up firm has created a smartphone aimed at business executives with "military-grade security" and technology it says is two years ahead of the mass market.

Sirin Labs says it has raised $72m to bring the "Rolls-Royce of smartphones" to market - but it could come with a price tag of up to $20,000 (£13,800).

The firm says the Android-based device will have far higher privacy settings than other smartphones, and operate faster than any other mobile.

The first Sirin model will be called Solarin, and will be sold from a new store in Mayfair from May. Bosses say it should cost less than $20,000.

BlackBerry smartphones were once a favourite of business executives, but sales have fallen sharply in recent years with the rise of iPhone.

One of the Sirin Labs backers, businessman Moshe Hogeg, said: "91% of Fortune 500 companies are under cyber attacks, but companies can't use a military phone because they usually lack all the apps that consumers use.

"We have managed to combine a military phone and a phone for everyday use."

The idea for the start-up came about after Kazakh investor Kenges Rakishev's phone was hacked in 2013.

Mr Hogeg said: "There were no good solutions that combined high-end technologies with maximum security."

But even with its chunky price tag, it will not be the most expensive smartphone ever.

In 2006 Vertu launched the Signature Cobra, featuring a pair of diamonds, two emeralds, and 439 rubies.

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