For the last months and even years, BlackBerry has been struggling to get back the fame it once had, but that seems harder and harder to do. The most recent move of the Canadian company is the upcoming release of the new Passport smartphones, which are said to debut tomorrow, on September 24. The company’s actual CEO believes this device can get some decent sales and get put BlackBerry back on track.
According to the company’s CEO John Chen, the new Passport smartphone will be priced at $599 when it goes on sale. As a reminder, Passport is a new square-screen phone with an unusual design. If you ask me, ‘ugly’ is the right word to describe, but who knows, maybe its eccentricity will appeal to some. The smartphone will be sold in the United States without subsidies at $599 price.
Chen also said that the phone will be priced differently in some other countries. In a recent interview in the Wall Street Journal, BlackBerry’s boss said that if they didn’t have to bother about competing phones from rivals, it would cost about $700 at retail. He added the following:
“But I figure that to try to get the market interested, we’re going to start a little lower than that. The new iPhones from Apple start at $649 without a contract for the iPhone 6, or $749 without a contract for the iPhone 6 Plus. Samsung’s latest Galaxy S5 smartphone is available without a contract for about $650.”
BlackBerry’s new Passport smartphone is actually shaped like a passport, with a full HD display and 4.5 inches square, offering the same viewing space as a 5-inch smartphone. The difference between the Passport and the average rectangular smartphone is that the Passport will show 60 characters across on its screen compared to 40 characters.
Judging by its design, it is unclear how comfortable the phone will be to hold, but it seems that the device is being targeted more towards businesses than consumers. BlackBerry hopes that its smartphone will prove to be appealing to architects, mortgage brokers, medical staff and more.
The smartphone is expected to sport a camera of 13 megapixels, 3GB of RAM, a quad-core Qualcomm processor of yet unknown frequency, support for microSD. This will be the first time when BlackBerry has launched a new device for the global market since its BlackBerry 10 devices in 2013.