The new BlackBerry Passport may just be the phone that reverses BlackBerry’s downward spiral. Here’s what you need to know.
1. The BlackBerry Passport Is Due Out Next Month
— Jonelle L T (@jolt8) August 17, 2014
The newest smartphone from BlackBerry will be called the Passport, and it is expected to debut next month. BlackBerry Passport is an upcoming member of the BlackBerry 10 line. BGR suggests that we’re looking at a Q3 release window, and the rumor mill suggests that this phone might be out as early as September.
2. The BlackBerry Passport Isn’t the Only New Phone From BlackBerry This Year
Get a sneak peek at this phone in the video above.
BGR adds that BlackBerry has another new phone in the pipeline for this year. The other phone what BGR refers to as the “peculiar and less boxy Porsche Design BlackBerry ‘Khan’ P’9983.” Pocket Lint writes:
“The Porsche Design P’9983 will feature a 3.5-inch touchscreen display. The smartphone will be powered by a 1.7GHz dual-core CPU back by an impressive 3GB of RAM for a good battery life to power balance. The phone will come with 64GB of storage onboard, though further expansion was not mentioned.
While the P’9983 won’t have a capacitive keyboard like the Passport it will have a blend of its styled buttons and those found on the Q10.”
3. Leaked Specs Point to a Wide Display on the Passport
— Jonelle L T (@jolt8) August 17, 2014
The wide, squat design of the Passport is eye-catching, and it definitely sets itself apart. The wide screen gives users a phablet-like experience, but because the phone is just 4.5 inches, it doesn’t feel as unwieldy in smaller hands as a big phablet. Digital Spy has a rundown on the Passport’s specs:
“The compact device is said to include a 2.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor and 3GB of RAM under the bonnet, and come with 32GB of storage and microSD support.
Other features listed include a 13-megapixel rear camera with Optical Image Stabilisation, an LED flash and 1080p 60FPS video recording, a 2-megapixel front snapper, a physical qwerty keyboard and a 3450mAh battery.”
4. You Might Know Passport by Another Name
— BlackBerry (@BlackBerry) August 26, 2014
Passport has been rumored for a while, but you might have heard those rumors attached to the Passport phone’s code name, which is Windermere. PC Pro notes that this year’s BlackBerry line is designed to appeal to four main segments of consumers:
“‘Affordable’ devices for ambitious youngsters in the corporate office; ‘classic’ devices for older, traditional BlackBerry customers, such as the Q20; ‘innovative’ for younger execs, and ‘prestige’ for ‘extravagant’ individuals who like their phones to be designed by Porsche.”
Windermere/Passport is the phone that’s supposed to appeal to the “innovative” customer base.
5. BlackBerry Needs a Big Win to Regain Its Footing
— IntoMobile (@IntoMobile) August 16, 2014
BlackBerry has been losing market share for years, and the company needs a great new smartphone to win back old customers. CNET notes that BlackBerry has an uphill battle to fight:
“[BlackBerry has ceded] virtually all of its market share over the last five years to Apple’s iPhone and to Android smartphones. Since then, it has sunk into the status of an also-ran, and was lumped earlier this month into the ‘Others’ category in a Counterpoint Research study on US smartphone and handset shipments.”
Some tech insiders think the Passport may just have what it takes to bring back the brand back into the public eye. Fortune has referred to the Passport as a “silver bullet” for the company.
Fortune quotes Ramon Llamas, an analyst for the market research firm IDC, who has some thoughts about the new phone:
“Passport won’t get confused with previous BlackBerry models like the Bold and Q10, and the large screen keeps BlackBerry in pace with the competition.”