AT&T has announced that the newest BlackBerry smartphone models, the Passport and the Classic, will soon be available to AT&T customers, with the Passport phone having specially rounded edges and corners exclusively for AT&T buyers.
The standard version of BlackBerry's Passport has distinctive squared-off edges and corners as part of its design. The new exclusive AT&T version features rolled edges and corners, which AT&T wanted to provide to its users.
The announcements were made by the company on Jan. 7 at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas,
A BlackBerry spokeswoman confirmed to eWEEK that the rounded Passport will be available only to AT&T and its customers. The spokeswoman said that BlackBerry has previously modified some of its phones with special colors or features for carriers in the past, including a BlackBerry Curve 8350i built specifically for Sprint/Nextel and a special Henna-designed Pearl color for AT&T.
The rounded Passport model internally will feature the same specifications as the phone's original model, including a 4.5-inch square full HD touch-screen display with a QWERTY keyboard, a 2.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm processor, a 13-megapixel main camera and 32GB of onboard storage, the spokeswoman confirmed.
No release date for the new Passport phone has been announced, but it will be available "in the near future," according to AT&T.
"The BlackBerry Passport is ideal for the power professional who wants an innovative wireless device focused on productivity," Jeff Bradley, senior vice president of device marketing and developer services for AT&T, said in a statement. "Available first on the AT&T network in the U.S., customers will benefit from the newly redesigned Passport's enhanced features, including a wider screen, 32 GB of storage, and a 3450 mAh battery."
The rounded BlackBerry Passport will be sold for $649.99 without a contract or for $199.99 with a two-year agreement. It will also be available with no money down on monthly AT&T Next payment plans that can be stretched to 24 months.
The future AT&T release date for BlackBerry's new Classic smartphone, which was launched in December 2014, has also not yet been announced, but the carrier has acknowledged that the device will soon be available for use on its network. The Classic will be sold for $419.99 without a contract or for $49.99 with a two-year agreement, according to AT&T. It will also be available through up to 24 monthly payments on AT&T Next plans.
The BlackBerry Classic includes the company's well-known QWERTY keyboard, trackpad and navigation keys, as well as a 3.5-inch square touch-screen HD display that is covered with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 for strength. The Classic also includes a 2MP front- and an 8MP rear-facing camera, a 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and 16GB of internal storage.