BlackBerry Passport: Does Anyone Care?

BlackBerry Passport

BlackBerry’s newest smartphone, the Passport, is defiantly retro: It features a hard keyboard, an element that virtually every other smartphone producer has discarded in favor of touch-screens.

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That’s not the Passport’s only old-school detail: The device looks and works like something that BlackBerry might have produced back when it was still Research In Motion, including a 4.5-inch square display and a blocky, heavy body. But unlike the BlackBerry devices of old, which focused on battery life and business-centric features at the expense of niceties like a sleek mobile browser, the Passport includes a host of next-generation software and hardware features, most notably the 13-megapixel rear-facing camera. (The OS is BlackBerry 10.3.)

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Will those next-generation features convince users to purchase a Passport in place of, say, the new iPhone 6? The fate of BlackBerry might depend on it. “BlackBerry just needs one hit phone for now,” Morningstar analyst Brian Colello told Reuters. “It doesn’t quite matter whether it is the Passport, the Classic or anything else, but they do need one device to jump-start the hardware business again. The big question really is whether any of these devices will kick-start it.”

It’s also questionable whether consumers and businesspeople will go for something designed to aggressively buck the current trends in smartphones. Does anyone really want a physical keyboard on his or her mobile device?

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2 Responses to “BlackBerry Passport: Does Anyone Care?”

  1. Frank C

    Do you hear that Tap-tap sound? It’s the final nail being driven into the BlackBerry coffin.

    Seriously, if you live in an area that everybody drives pickups, you sell pickups, not Hyundai’s. I understand the desire to be innovative, but the innovation phase is over. Cell phones have evolved into what the public wants and can use. This is a very bad business decision. It may be too late, but whoever is at the helm of BlackBerry needs to be removed if it is not too late. I fear it is.

    Look at what Apple started and what companies like them, Samsung and even LG are doing. Their offerings are similar with their own added “beliefs” to attempt to gain market share. The attempt by BlackBerry to add some “cool upgrades” to a phone that simply is anything but cool is a terrible decision. I look at it and somehow want to go back and see if I can find an old CRT television to purchase.

    Years ago, you would ask,”Hay, have you seen the new BlackBerry?” That was because you were wanting to get your hands on one and make that your next phone. Now, the same question will be asked followed by laughter and a simple comment; “I haven’t and don’t know anybody that has one”.