Tags: blackberry | passport | keyboard | buttons

BlackBerry Passport Phone's Keyboard Has Physical Buttons

By    |   Tuesday, 23 Sep 2014 12:18 PM

BlackBerry's new Passport smartphone that includes a keyboard with physical buttons will be introduced Wednesday.

The Passport sports a 4.5-inch screen, and is expected to cost $599 without a carrier contract – less than the new iPhones and Samsung's popular Galaxy S5. Notably, the phone's physical keyboard is touch sensitive, and can be used to swipe and scroll through content in the viewing window above.

The Wall Street Journal noted that the phone is the first milestone in an ongoing makeover for BlackBerry, a company that once dominated the consumer electronics market, but has since fallen behind its competitors.

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Under the leadership of Chief Executive John Chen, a known corporate turnaround artist who stepped into the role less than a year ago, analysts and tech experts predict BlackBerry will re-focus not on the consumer space they once ruled, but instead build their brand in the business space where mobile security is paramount.

Two recent acquisitions of companies specializing in eavesdropping protection and employee device cost management were made by Chen this summer, and will push the company further down the path to enterprise tech.

Apple's recent push further into security with its Touch ID fingerprint sensor and Apple Pay digital credit card product launching in October could crowd BlackBerry as it moves into the space, however, making it difficult once again for the company to differentiate itself from the dominate handsets.

Adding to the pressure, Apple's partnership with IBM to help develop enterprise apps could put BlackBerry at a further disadvantage.

Nonetheless, CNet.com explained that by offering comparable enterprise features and functionality at a cheaper rate than Apple, BlackBerry could carve out a market.

"The $600 price tag should . . . appeal to enterprise users or those who need to buy a fleet of devices," it said.

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BlackBerry's new Passport smartphone that includes a keyboard with physical buttons will be introduced Wednesday.
blackberry, passport, keyboard, buttons
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2014-18-23
Tuesday, 23 Sep 2014 12:18 PM
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