Flagship Blackberry Passport is set to be released on Wednesday and will be priced at $599 off contract. The device is aimed at professionals and business users who prefer for secure messaging and communication.
The Passport is the company’s major flagship device after Chief Executive Officer John Chen took control of the company. The Passport features a 4.5-inch screen with a qwerty keyboard that is also touch-sensitive. The smartphone is aimed at productivity for professionals and not for usage by consumers who prefer entertainment and games. The device is priced at #549 in the US without a contract and is lesser than the iPhone 6 priced at $649.
“I figure that to try to get the market interested, we’re going to start a little lower than that,” said Chen in an interview regarding the pricing of the Passport.
The smartphone is powered by a quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor with 3GB of RAM and 32GB internal storage. The square display has a resolution of 1440×1400 that will be “the IMAX of productivity”. Chen has transferred the manufacturing process of devices to Foxconn Technologies while the company is focusing on selling messaging software to business professionals and governments.
The release comes after the launch of iPhone 6 and 6 Plus in US and the company will face touch competition after the launch. Blackberry is trying to win back the interest of business professionals who are bringing their own devices to the company. Ehud Gelbum, an analyst at Citigroup Ltd. stated that the number of employer-provided phones decreased from 3 million to 1.5 million.
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