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New BlackBerry phone outed in earnings call: Say hello to Passport

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Despite setbacks, BlackBerry(s bbry) is soldiering on with a new phone to debut this September. On the company’s quarterly financial results call Thursday morning, BlackBerry CEO John Chen spilled the beans a bit early, saying the company will have a phone launch event in London. The handset will be called the Passport and is reportedly the previously leaked phone code-named Windermere according to CrackBerry.

When you look at photos of the handset, you’ll probably understand the name of Passport as the handset is shaped like one. Reported photos of the phone while in development show a wide footprint with a keyboard across the bottom.

Windermere Passport


The shape of the phone is definitely different and it does have the famed BlackBerry keyboard that so many love. The shape of the company is still in question, however.

In its quarterly results, BlackBerry noted that only 1.6 million handsets were sold. That’s up from the 1.3 million in the prior three months, but still a long way from the sales of other smartphone companies. On the plus side, BlackBerry’s adjusted gross margins are on the rise — from 43 to 48 percent — and it has boosted its cash and investments balance from $2.8 billion to $3.1 billion, so it’s not going away anytime soon.

While it’s strange to have details of a future phone and launch shared in advance and on an investor call, it makes sense in BlackBerry’s case. Chen has to keep showing forward progress for the company and can’t wait three months for a phone launch. It’s better for him, and for BlackBerry, to build as much buzz as it can about any new revenue opportunities.

17 Responses to “New BlackBerry phone outed in earnings call: Say hello to Passport”

  1. alageshc

    Me a fan of BB.Some time I even think of handling 2 BB phones. The prob of BB is I think they not spending much on R&D. Touch screens is the new era and your must last long. Bring Passport withTwo versions. One with Button and other touch screen.

  2. Desmond Davis

    BlackBerry please listen to me just keep improving the z10 you just made a deal with amazon to get more apps that’s great z10 was the perfect phone it just needed more apps and core processing they change the processing speed and and upgrade the operating system and change the name on the same phone every year it’s called marketing your next phone should have been the blackberry z11 with blackberry 10.2.3 operating system and extra core processing but the same body as the z10 but silver that’s marketing you were heading in the right direction but now you’re taking shots in the dark leave the phablets to Samsung z10 was the perfect size bigger isn’t always better people want just right and z10 was just right don’t let apple and Samsung bully you look I have an inside source from Foxconn and apple isn’t making a 5.5inch phone it will be more like size of the z10 you know why because it’s the perfect size please go back and stick to touch screen bb fans were just being loyal but we love touch screen I’m begging you listen to me I know the way the world thinks trust me on this please and do more commercials for business class that’s your market you want to associate your phones with success like BMW are Mercedes Benz you’re not a sports car like iphone are Samsung but you are the ultimate driving machine of phones that’s your ecosystem stop taking it sitting down marketing is everything do what I say and you’ll be number one by the end of the year.

  3. chiekezie

    Many people do not like keyboards occupying possible display areas. If you work in that direction, i believe there could be great change in fortune for you. Make two versions of the phones, ones with, and without keyboard.

    • Will Wallis

      BlackBerry’s biggest base of support is from keyboard users. People who prefer all touch already have their choice companies. This is a great move for the mobile icon.

  4. Don’t get me wrong I am a BB fan through and through but WHAT are they thinking? That is almost as ugly as the 9670 clamshell (of which I only ever saw ONE in the wild) debacle a few years ago…

    This thing looks like a mini-playbook (don’t even get me started on that…)with a keyboard taped on the bottom. How is that even supposed to work? what do your hands hold onto while you type? That can’t be very comfortable.

    The Classic looks nice but even *I* am beginning to think “Too little, too late.”

    Come on BlackBerry. your loyal fans still love you but you’re making it increasingly difficult to take you seriously every day.

    • Sheikh Aftab

      These leaked images r crap, check out the original pictures, it’s a sweet baby, with keyboard that is gesture based, nothing like it, and it falls in the category of fablets, and for those who don’t like it, there is the classic.

  5. Really good earnings call today…pretty much all good news…better financials, Amazon app store deal, good BES pickup, and new devices coming. BB has some positive momentum!