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Boeing is jumping into the smartphone business, developing a new mobile device  — but we probably won’t be buying this one at our local wireless store.

The company is working on a secure communications device for the U.S. government defense and security market, a spokeswoman for the company confirmed this morning.

The news was reported earlier this week by National Defense Magazine, which said the device will be based on the Android operating system.

National Defense quoted Roger Krone, president of Boeing Network and Space Systems, saying that Boeing was aiming to launch the device in late 2012, at a lower price than competitors who sell secure phones for as much as $20,000 — but not so low that the Boeing phone would be considered a mass-market product.

Android was chosen because it will also provide users access to popular consumer apps while still knowing that their communications are secure, Krone told reporters, according to the magazine.

Via email, a Boeing spokeswoman confirmed to GeekWire, “We are developing a trusted mobile device that will serve the US Government Defense and Security market, which require a higher level of security than is currently available in the commercial marketplace.”

The company isn’t yet giving further product or launch details.

(Thanks to Isaac Alexander for the tip.)

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