Blackphone began shipping on Monday to people who want a smartphone that won't pass on personal information to all and sundry.

The device was unveiled at Mobile World Congress and the initial, albeit unspecified inventory quickly sold out when it was made available to pre-order customers, illustrating how important privacy has become to some.

"In a world where devices and apps increasingly offer features only in return for users' personal or sensitive information, the pent-up demand for Blackphone shows there is strong, international demand for our brand's devices and services that stand apart by placing privacy before all else," said Toby Weir-Jones, CEO of SGP Technologies – a Swiss joint venture between encrypted comms specialist Silent Circle and niche handset maker Geeksphone.

SGP plans to reopen its online store and put Blackphone back on sale on 14 July.

Blackphone is packed with features that protect privacy, including encrypted voice, SMS and video-calling, and private Web browsing. It also has a feature that prevents WiFi hotspots from collecting the customer's WiFi connection history as well as data that could be used to track their location. It also gives owners control over application permissions, a remote wipe tool, and access to private cloud storage.

Blackphone is "the result of an unprecedented combination of privacy and mobile innovations", Weir-Jones said, putting "mobile privacy directly in the hands of professionals and consumers everywhere".