Mobile

BlackBerry takes another swing at smartphones with Passport

Above: BlackBerry's next round of devices: The Z3, Classic, and Passport

Image Credit: BlackBerry

BlackBerry isn’t giving up on its smartphone business just yet.

CEO John Chen announced BlackBerry’s latest smartphone, Passport, during the company’s quarterly earnings report. The phone reportedly has a 4.5-inch 1,440×1,440 pixel screen. It is also rumored to have a touch-sensitive keyboard panel for easier autocorrection.

This is a big moment for mobile phones. Last week Apple revealed a revamped iOS with an open app SDK — meaning apps can communicate with each other much like they do on Android devices. And just yesterday Jeff Bezos announced Amazon’s smartphone, Fire, which offers an array of new features like a 3-D interface, head-motion sensors, and image recognition software– that last one, called Firefly, is able to identify an object you’ve taken a picture of and tell you where you can purchase it. Next week at Google I/O there will be even more announcements concerning Android updates and wear.

As a mobile phone maker, BlackBerry had to bring something to the table, even though its been putting an emphasis on software and services in recent months — not mobile phone hardware.

In the last six months Chen has focused on turning the company’s software and services into its core business and to great effect. This past quarter, software and services produced 61 percent of the company’s revenue. The company also cut operational costs by 40 percent to $400 million and research and development costs to $237 million — almost 34 percent.

BlackBerry probably realizes that mobile hardware is not its primary moneymaker, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t stay competitive. The company did sell 2.6 million phones through retailers this past quarter, which doesn’t come near to Apple’s share of the market, but is still a substantial number.

Chen says the phone will make its debut at an event in London in September, but is keeping mum about the rest.

More information:

Research In Motion, Ltd., is a provider of wireless solutions for the mobile communications market. The company is the designer and manufacturer of the BlackBerry smartphone brand, and also creates touchscreen and mobile keyboard techn... read more »

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12 comments
Rayan Ahmed
Rayan Ahmed

The passport is made primarily for enterprises requiring high density media such as in the medical industry

Michael Sylvester
Michael Sylvester

BBs app ecosystem cannot catch up with Android or Apple. Their cool OS and hardware cannot overcome this fatal flaw. Their best hope is to make Android based handsets with physical keyboards - own that hardware niche and be done with it.

Noor Premiere
Noor Premiere

i still fancy those phones with keyboard tho.

black black
black black

Is fugly a word? Cause if it ain't, then there are no words to describe that phone.


Stick to services BB...

Chris Topher
Chris Topher

Who berry? Shoo berry? What are you trying to do berry? The only thing I've ever seen (in the IT industry) move slower than new blackberry product dev.... is the Feds. Well- maybe a few state gov's. This would have raised a few inquisitive eyebrows in the time frame of obama's last campaign

Michael Valor
Michael Valor

I'll remind some of the negative comments I've seen on the thread that Blackberry once ruled the corporate world as the primary choice of cellphones for that psychographic :) it's very realistic that with the right positioning and good product development that it can reappear in that manner.

Jason Jersey
Jason Jersey

they arent very good. We have a blackberry tablet too, pretty boring

Dinesh
Dinesh

I would certainly take one over an Amazon phone, in the least.