We all love savings. This is why many of us tend to buy smartphones from online re-sellers who in most cases are easy on wallets and sell devices noticeably cheaper. In many cases, online sellers also enable access to phones unavailable in your local store. Such practices mean lost profits for authorized distributors and manufacturers but also big risk and a lot of inconveniences for potential users. Recent report says that in order to reduce the number of the Blackphone 2 handsets sold on the grey market, Silent Circle released a software update that disables non-genuine phones.
Silent Circles released software update disabling unauthorized Blackphones. All owners of non-genuine models end up with bricked phones. Here is why you should not buy non-genuine phones at eBay nor Craigslist.
Silent Circle, a company known for security-focused smartphones, decided to declare war to unauthorized distributors of the Blackphone 2, including eBay and Craigslist. Just several days ago the company send a message informing interested customers that they shouldn’t purchase their devices from eBay. Instead they should buy the phones directly from them, or from licensed distributors if outside the States.
As the warning was ignored, the manufacturer used more drastic methods and rolled out a special update to its Android-based SilentOS (more precisely version 3.0.8) whose role is to block the clone phones. Users of non-genuine Blackphone 2 were denied access to the phone’s functions and ended up with bricked handsets. When contacting Silent Circle customer support they are told that the device they own is an unauthorized one and hence is deprived of the necessary support.
In order to justify the implemented measures Silent Circle says that the Blackphone 2 was designed to be the most secure smartphone ever. Due to advanced hardware and software features the device is protected against unwanted intrusion. However, the company claims that they cannot promise data protection if the phone isn’t an original device.
So, where the fake devices sold at eBay and Craigslist are from? Well, there are two theories explaining their origin. The first one suggests that they are released by the Silent Circle’s partner manufacturers. The second one says that the unauthorized handsets may as well come from companies that have cloned the hardware, but didn’t receive the SilentOS license.
No matter how painful and unfair the Silent Circle’s move may look like. Affected users aren’t protected by the law as they consciously bought devices from unauthorized third-party sources. So the only remedy here is to install a different Android ROM or simply exchange the phone. If you want a warranty that you buy an authorized device, you should buy the Blackphone 2 from the following channels: Silent Circle in the Americas, Kick Mobiles and Styx in EMEA, and Dialog Hub in Asia Pacific.
source: ARS Technica