BlackBerry's New Passport Smartphone to Sell for $599
BlackBerry is still fighting to stay relevant with its upcoming new Passport smartphones, which will debut on Sept. 24.Blackberry, which is still trying to regain a foothold in the enterprise smartphone market it once dominated, will price its new Passport smartphone at $599 when it goes on sale Sept. 24, according to the company's CEO John Chen. Chen said the new square-screen phone will be sold in the United States without subsidies at that $599 price, which he said is lower than the price of unsubsidized phones sold by rivals, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal. In an interview with the newspaper, Chen said that the phone will be priced differently in some other countries. If the phone were sold without consideration for competing phones from rivals, it would cost about $700 at retail, he told The Journal. "But I figure that to try to get the market interested, we're going to start a little lower than that," he said. The new iPhones from Apple start at $649 without a contract for the iPhone 6, or $749 without a contract for the iPhone 6 Plus. Samsung's latest Galaxy S5 smartphone is available without a contract for about $650.
BlackBerry's new Passport smartphone is notable for its shape, which is more square than rectangular, according to an eWEEK report in July. In fact, the new device is actually shaped like a passport. The Passport's display is a full HD and 4.5 inches square, offering the same viewing space as a 5-inch smartphone with what BlackBerry calls an "even better viewing experience."