Why The BlackBerry Passport (Won’t) Be A Massive Flop

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And so, with the iLaunch spluttering out of the way, attention is beginning to turn to the Passport.

And by attention I mean those that would seek to keep BlackBerry down are becoming increasingly desperate in their arguments. They really are scraping the bottom of whatever barrel they can find.

Here’s a couple of examples:

First off, here’s Cosmin Vasile of the blog Softpedia being all upbeat. They’ve scoured the tech universe and found ONE dev (Comcave) commenting on ONE web forum thread on CB and turned it into:

BlackBerry Passport Will Be a Flop Due to Eccentric Design, Developer Claims

BlackBerry is readying its comeback in the smartphone business, and one of the first products meant to strengthen its presence on the market has already been released, the Z3.

However, the Canadian company has another device prepared for BlackBerry fans, aside from the affordable Z3, and that’s the “innovative” Passport.

We’ve been reporting on the Passport since the smartphone was first rumored, and the general opinion is that this might be a popular device among BlackBerry users.

Obviously, that won’t be enough to save BlackBerry, which is why the Canadian company needs the Passport to be a hit among customers who are willing to switch to BlackBerry to get this unusual device.

Many developers who received prototype units claim that the Passport fits well in a pocket and feels right in hand, so those having second thoughts on grabbing it or not were probably convinced that they need not worry about the smartphone’s size.

Sadly for all those excited about the BlackBerry Passport, at least one developer isn’t happy at all with how the Canadian company decided to design this particular device.

BlackBerry is taking a risky approach with Passport

While the Passport is supposed to replace the Q10, BlackBerry plans to launch another device especially for that, the Q20 or BlackBerry Classic.

Which means BlackBerry Passport is the first of its kind and probably the last, if we are to believe Crackberry forum user comwave.

According to him, no one from his company is willing to drop their Q10s for the Passport, on the contrary. Even though all his colleagues are long time BlackBerry users, as it’s a standard issue for the company they are working for, not a single one liked the Passport.

comwave claims that the BlackBerry Passport is “too square/wide to fit in your pocket, can’t take it to the gym, can’t put it in your shorts…it’s basically a great Phablet. Nowhere near cool enough to get people to change from Q10 to Passport…too big of a jump. Only those people who already have a personal phone and a corporate issued phone didn’t care to replace their Q for passport.”

On the positive side, he really likes how BlackBerry OS 10.3 runs on the Passport, but that was to be expected as each major OS upgrade brings in better usability and lots of other improvements.

Talking about BlackBerry Passport’s keyboard, comwave says that it’s ok but not as intuitive as the standard one, “It’s just plain odd looking. It’s wider than any large Android other than Galaxy Note. Looks odd holding up to your face. Maybe they should just contract Porsche Design next time.“

Yes, one persons mildly critical approach made in conversation is enough to condemn an entire product apparently. And note the phrase trotted out, yet again, that the ‘Passport won’t be enough to save BlackBerry’

No one said it was ever meant to, you fool.

Truth is, Comcave has tiny pocketss and should stop trying to type with his face.

Meanwhile, over at Seeking Alpha, long term chuckle brother and all round iLoon Kofi Bofa continues in his downward spiral of desperately trying to find ANYTHING to bash BlackBerry with, bless him. Must be all that iLove.

Basically Kofi is stuck in 2012 with a ‘Market Share’ argument. He thinks that, in his words since ‘the iOS/Android duopoly’ hasn’t been scratched by BlackBerry since 2013 that this shows that BlackBerry is a bust flush. This, of course, conveniently avoids the fact that outside the US the OS market share war is pretty much an Android monopoly now, and that even in the US itself iOS is dropping like a stone.

Still, there’s hope for the little guy! Oh, wait…

In response, BlackBerry is set to launch its Passport handset prior to the 2014 Holiday Season. With the Passport, BlackBerry engineers appear to have made a curious attempt to match the ongoing consumption shift towards phablets within the mobile market. Unfortunately for BlackBerry shareholders, Waterloo is likely to follow up its weak BlackBerry 10 launch with another bust, in the Passport. The Passport, with its bold design, may emerge as the biggest tech flop of 2014.

Kofi then blathers on about the phablet market, how the Passport can’t compete and then hits us with:

BlackBerry will officially launch its Passport, on September 24, at three separate events in Toronto, London, and Dubai. From there, various reports have speculated that the Passport may not hit U.S. shelves until early calendar 2015. The Passport was engineered to compete against premium phones out of Microsoft, Apple, and Samsung. As such, these new BlackBerry handsets may price out above $700. In any event, BlackBerry may ship a mere 750,000 Passport phones at $500 per unit for $375 million in marginal revenue through the end of this fiscal year 2015. For the sake of comparison, Apple sold 35.2 million iPhone units for $19.8 billion in revenue through its most recent Q3 2014.

Of course! The Passport won’t sell as much as the iPhone so BlackBerry are doomed!


And this guy puts himself out as a financial analyst?

What a load of old cobblers.

Here’s the truth.

For BlackBerry to make their handset division viable they need to sell 10 million handsets, worldwide, per year. Not Passports, not Z3’s, not Classics – HANDSETS.

John Chen has gone on record to say that he is ‘very pleased’ with the sales progress of the Z3.

The Passport will sell as well as BlackBerry need it to. Yes, it’s an odd shape, but it does some pretty amazing things. Even if it ends up being a minority novelty device it WILL be embraced by Enterprise, as will the Classic.

You can tell BlackBerry are back. There’s a buzz about the brand again. People are actively seeking out the products and looking to come #BackToBlack. The chatter in the tech world around the 24th September will be about BlackBerry and their new device PLUS whatever John Chen has up his sleeve (and he’ll have plenty), not how wonderful the Smartie Watch is.

Will BlackBerry overtake iOS market share in the US in 2014?


Probably not 2015 either, although it wouldn’t take BlackBerry much to overtake iOS in places like Germany or France where iOS share is pitiful.

Regardless, they WILL sell more than enough for it to be worth their while pumping out these incredible devices whilst the likes of Apple and Samsung stumble around not knowing what the hell is going on like a couple of overweight punch drunk heavyweight has-beens.

Maybe Kofi should look up the word ‘budget’ next time?

He should.

He may be about to find out that ‘massive’ initial Apple sales don’t quite equal budgetary expectations.

Then we’ll see what a huge flop looks like.


Bigglybobblyboo is a legend almost nowhere at all. He is a founder member of UTB and spends his spare time taking out his anger at the world with a fishfork and a spatula. He is also a Cribbage Master, having won 1 fight online as the other guy refused to turn up out of fear for his life.