Make no mistake, the timing of this latest promotion brought to you by BlackBerry’s U.S. online store is anything but coincidental. As details regarding the Canadian company’s next hero device start trickling in, older BB gear must go.
Don’t look at your calendars. Technically, the timing wouldn’t be off for a follow-up of the unconventional, controversial but ultimately successful BlackBerry Passport. It’s been almost seven months since the hybrid touchscreen/physical keyboard square debuted in stores, and rumor is BB will wait at least until June 30 to formally take the wraps off the “Oslo.”
Known, recognized all over the world and still beloved by many a productivity addict for its physical QWERTY handhelds, BlackBerry is attempting an all-touch do-over. The Leap follows in the footsteps of several recent failed experiments, and unlike the Z10 or Z30 before it, affordability stands out as a key forte.
Slowly but steadily, BlackBerry’s US business is picking up, with sales of unlocked Passports and Classics reportedly breaking recent records, and carriers lined up to get a piece of the on-contract action. AT&T just welcomed both hybrid touchscreen/QWERTY keyboard-sporting handhelds on the network, and Verizon quickly followed its main rival’s lead.
President Obama’s enduring loyalty to BlackBerries is far from the best news of the week for the slowly but steadily recovering mobile phone brand, as AT&T just hitched its wagon to the rising Passport star. Also, the vintage, aptly named Classic.
A passport as a Valentine’s Day gift? That’s sure an odd way to say “I love you”, unless the travel document comes bundled with an all-inclusive romantic trip to the Caribbean. Or maybe if it’s coated in seductive red, and instead of photos and visas, contains quad-core processors and oodles of RAM on the inside.
Everybody loves a good comeback story, and while the specific numbers aren’t in yet, it’s looking like BlackBerry may be getting out of the hole soon enough and rise from the proverbial ashes. The Phoenix fable started with the oddly shaped but enterprise-friendly Passport, which sold out a couple of times in its early days.
2014 hasn’t been the worst year in BlackBerry’s history, but the Canadian company’s recent product releases are yet to stabilize its struggling financials. Nor are we seeing any potential for a sudden reversal of fortune in the near future, although Passport sales have reportedly started on a high.
They say sometimes you have to go back to actually move forward, a scenario BlackBerry perfectly demonstrates by returning to its “classic” roots. The latest BB 10 OS-running handheld from the struggling Canadian company is anything but a looker, by today’s standards.
Not yet knocked down by its recent financial qualms, BlackBerry has been employing a very unusual build-up strategy for its unreleased products of late. Perhaps looking to take leakers out of business, the Canadian device manufacturer’s officials have willingly exposed the Passport and Classic months before their commercial launches.
Whenever a device manufacturer justifies a controversial design or hardware choice by emphasizing the uniqueness of the gadget’s target audience, one immediately anticipates a sales flop. That very much seemed to be the case with the awkward, boxy BlackBerry Passport, which its Canadian creators hurried to aim towards enterprise users.
With BlackBerry’s own leader, John Chen, more than willing to share everything from aesthetics to hardware specifications and software features in regards to the unconventional-looking Passport for months, the big question mark heading to today’s introductory events was tied to availability.