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BlackBerry staggers back into the tablet market with Samsung hardware and IBM software

Downtrodden Canadian device maker BlackBerry has revealed its latest effort to maintain some semblance of grip on the enterprise with the SecuTablet, a modified Galaxy Tab S 10.5 with security software provided by IBM and encryption hardware from Secusmart, a German firm acquired by BlackBerry in December.


Samsung's Galaxy Tab S 10.5. Photos of the SecuTablet are not yet available.


The SecuTablet is designed to work within the SecuSuite for BlackBerry 10 ecosystem, giving the company a foothold in applications where security is of paramount importance. It relies on a combination of Secusmart's MicroSD encryption card, Samsung's Knox encryption software, and app wrapping technology from IBM.

The tablet is currently undergoing certification tests by the German government, and once certified will be available for use with classified data.

"Security is ingrained in every part of BlackBerry's portfolio, which includes voice and data encryption solutions," Secusmart CEO Dr. Hans-Christoph Quelle said in a release. "National and international government customers have entrusted their voice and data communications with the Secusmart Security Card for years. This same technology is what secures the new SecuTABLET."

BlackBerry says that the SecuTablet will be able to run both secure official apps and insecure personal apps, like Facebook, side-by-side without affecting the device's overall security. Strangely, the company also calls out mega-popular messsaging app WhatsApp, despite the lack of an official tablet client for that service.

Once-powerful BlackBerry has been grasping at straws in recent years as it attempts to remain relevant in a mobile marketplace dominated by Apple and Samsung. Its latest handsets have met with only modest success at best, and the company has turned to a strategy of defending its remaining enterprise strongholds with still industry-leading security and expanded mobile management tools in BlackBerry Enterprise Server.