BlackBerry might be in a spot of trouble, but it’s not taking things lying down. During today’s BlackBerry earnings call for the first quarter of 2014, CEO John Chen revealed the company’s third new phone – the Passport phablet, which joins the ranks of the Z3 (launched earlier this year) and Classic (which will be pushed out soon) as the ‘third leg’ of the company’s push for relevance and sales.
BlackBerry Passport: ‘Windermere’ no more
The Passport isn’t a bolt from the blue – tech fans may recall past chatter regarding the BlackBerry ‘Windermere’, which was rumored to be quite the phone to watch out for. BlackBerry under John Chen is a company that is attempting to mine its illustrious past for elements that could help it survive and thrive in today’s white-hot, balls-out competitive mobile world, and one of the features that the ‘Windermere’ was rumored to be adopting was a physical keyboard. And not just any keyboard, but one that supposedly could be operated like a trackpad thanks to new touch-sensitive technology.
Details: scant but intriguing
But its keyboard (even though it does look strangely stretched in the images so far released to the press) is far from the first thing that people will notice about the Passport: its unique form factor. It’s got a square display that measures 4.5 by 4.5 inches and has a resolution of 1440 x 1440, making it, for all intents and purposes, a QHD screen. As many have noticed, it’s even wider than a Samsung Galaxy Note, which is no small phone by any measure. All in all, this one will get people staring when it’s used in public. We also hear that the Passport’ll be rocking a quad-core Snapdragon processor and a 13-megapixel camera, among other goodies.
Expect the BlackBerry Passport to drop sometime in September this year. When it’s released, it will have to hit the ground running. BlackBerry’s sales are significantly down from the same quarter last year – they sold 6.8 million handsets then, but only managed to move 1.6 million in the first quarter of 2014. While the brand continues to be strong in markets such as Indonesia, only time will tell if products like the Passport will help propel BlackBerry back to the upper reaches of the tech world.
via [ CrackBerry ]