Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Blackberry Passport new smartphone to cost just $599.- Availability.-Video.-

BlackBerry Chief Executive John Chen said in an interview Monday that its Passport smartphone, which will go on sale starting Wednesday, will cost $599 in the U.S. without subsidies. The phone will be priced differently in some other countries based on taxes and tariffs, he noted.
Mr. Chen said that compared with similar smartphones produced by competitors, the Passport should cost in the $700 range. "But I figure that to try to get the market interested, we're going to start a little lower than that."
Apple`s new iPhone 6 starts at $649 without contract, while the iPhone 6 Plus costs $749 without a contract. Samsung's flagship Galaxy S5 smartphone went on sale in the U.S. earlier this year for about $650 depending on the carrier.
Mr. Chen, who was visiting Singapore Monday, said the phone's larger screen would appeal to users who need to be productive on their phones, such as those working in the medical field. The Passport's screen size and high resolution allows users to view 60 characters on each line, which is substantially more than typical, rectangular smartphones such as iPhones.
"You really are seeing a more entire picture than seeing a sliver" of a screen, he said.
Mr. Chen said that the battery will last 36 hours and a large antenna will benefit reception, while the keyboard can also be used for scrolling through content displayed on the screen.
BlackBerry will launch the phone simultaneously Wednesday September 23, 2014  in Toronto, London and Dubai. The Passport will also be available "immediately" in some stores, and in one to two weeks "a lot of places will have it," including markets in Asia, Mr. Chen said.

BlackBerry Passport Specs.

The BlackBerry Passport uses a 4.5inch display with a 1440x1440 pixel resolution, which equates to 480 ppi. Under the hood there's a Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8974 quad-core chip. We don't know precisely which chip just yet, but it does have an Adreno 330 GPU and 3GB of RAM, suggesting it is either a Snapdragon 800 or 801 setup.
There's also a non-removable 3,450mAh battery pack and microSDsupport. Meanwhile the rear-facing camera (with LED flash) is rated at 13MP, with a 2MP shooter on the front.

BlackBerry Passport QWERTY Keyboard

Initially we knew the Passport's keyboard would be a full-on touch-"enabled" QWERTY setup designed at bringing the best possible typing experience to its users. The company disclosed some details about the Passport's new keyboard inside the BB10.3 SDK notes, which you can read below:
"This touch-enabled keyboard offers an even more productive and precise BlackBerry 10 experience, which opens up new possibilities for your app and your app’s users. To test it out, simply open up the BlackBerry 10.3 simulator controller and select the Touch Area control. We can’t wait to see the different ways you’ll integrate this unique, powerful functionality into your BlackBerry 10 app."
BlackBerry in November will also launch the latest version of its device-management software, and will likely release in December its Classic smartphone, Mr. Chen said, which is designed to appeal to fans of its keyboard and email services.

"The reason why our focus is so enterprise is because what we know how to do is security and productivity" he said. "Security, cybersecurity, personal identity protection. This is going to be a big deal."
Mr. Chen also conceded that BlackBerry hasn't gained much ground in Asia, with the exception of Malaysia and Indonesia.
"I think there's a tremendous amount of opportunity in both Southeast and North Asia," he said, without giving specifics on how the company plans to tackle these markets.
"Next year the focus has got to be on growth" Mr. Chen said. "Growth comes from vertical products. Better phones, newer technology."


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