WSJ – John Chen Reveals Passport Price At Launch Will Be Just….

Passport UTB

Just 2 days to go…



In today’s Wall Street Journal there’s an interview with the man himself. Here you go…

BlackBerry Chief Executive John Chen said in an interview Monday that its Passport smartphone, which will go on sale starting Wednesday, will cost $599 in the U.S. without subsidies. The phone will be priced differently in some other countries based on taxes and tariffs, he noted.

Mr. Chen said that compared with similar smartphones produced by competitors, the Passport should cost in the $700 range. “But I figure that to try to get the market interested, we’re going to start a little lower than that.”

Apple Inc.’s new iPhone 6 starts at $649 without contract, while the iPhone 6 Plus costs $749 without a contract. Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S5 smartphone went on sale in the U.S. earlier this year for about $650 depending on the carrier.

The release of the handset, which has a 4.5-inch square screen and BlackBerry’s signature physical keyboard, will be the first global launch of a device since the company’s BlackBerry 10 phones flopped in 2013. While the company has begun to focus more on its core enterprise business, it must also use innovative new consumer products to lure enterprise users, Mr. Chen said.

The Waterloo, Ontario, firm hasn’t talked about the device’s features ahead of its launch. But Mr. Chen, who was visiting Singapore Monday, said the phone’s larger screen would appeal to users who need to be productive on their phones, such as those working in the medical field. The Passport’s screen size and high resolution allows users to view 60 characters on each line, which is substantially more than typical, rectangular smartphones such as iPhones.

“You really are seeing a more entire picture than seeing a sliver” of a screen, he said.

Mr. Chen said that the battery will last 36 hours and a large antenna will benefit reception, while the keyboard can also be used for scrolling through content displayed on the screen.

BlackBerry will launch the phone simultaneously Wednesday in Toronto, London and Dubai. The Passport will also be available “immediately” in some stores, and in one to two weeks “a lot of places will have it,” including markets in Asia, Mr. Chen said.

BlackBerry in November will also launch the latest version of its device-management software, and will likely release in December its Classic smartphone, Mr. Chen said, which is designed to appeal to fans of its keyboard and email services.

Mr. Chen, who took over at the once-dominant smartphone maker less than a year ago amid mounting losses and declining sales, has engineered a high-stakes makeover, with BlackBerry focusing on providing secure smartphone technology for the enterprise market.

“The reason why our focus is so enterprise is because what we know how to do is security and productivity” he said. “Security, cybersecurity, personal identity protection. This is going to be a big deal.”

There was then the usual waffle from an ‘expert’ who said it would flop. Of course there was, it wouldn’t be BlackBerry if there wasn’t!

Anyway, screw what he thinks, what about you?

Is $599/£449 about right?

Enough to entice you?

We hear it’s a good enough price to interest a good solid number of carriers where staff who have been exposed to the phone are very excited indeed…

And it should be enough to brig a fair few people #BackToBlack, especially with the #Fappening still happening.

A small price to pay if you’re a celebrity I shouldn’t wonder…

Roll on Wednesday!


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.

  • nnik

    Hmmm a much better phone at 2/3 the price of an iPhone

  • Undbiter65

    THANK YOU John Chen!!!!! I’ll be able to afford the Passport. I can’t wait until I can purchase it!

  • veeru789

    All hail John Chen. This man is not only turning the tide by launching innovative products before time but also killing the competition by aggressively pricing it. Awesome!!!
    What will the haters say now?? LOLOLOL

  • Reverend Grim

    If I hadn’t just forked out for 2 new PC’s then I would seriously consider getting one on day!

  • Anthony

    Yes, $599 looks good. locco_smiley_39

  • ital1

    Considering what other manufacturers are charging for lesser quality handsets, that is an amazing price that will make this phone accessible to many people. Hopefully the big US carriers are on board at launch as well. Thank you John Chen, you’re the best thing that has ever happened to our favourite brand.

  • Trev

    That’s a very good price. I thought for sure it was going to be in the $650-$700 range.

  • Gnomesane

    Priced to move! John Chen continues to outpace expectations. Game on. :)

  • BB Racer !!
  • ptpete

    Finally, BB gets the pricing right. Definitely picking one of these babies up!

  • Alan

    Would love to see a lot of these Passports in the wild with people saying: “Hey, that’s a BlackBerry!” It can happen, it should, and I think it will. Recognition is part of the story to succeed/success and to Opulence.

  • Azensun

    At first glance, $599 might make some folks’ eyes water, but as nnik pointed out, it’s a much better phone with lesser specs! I really don’t remember what I paid for my Z on launch day (off contract, of course, I’m too impatient to wait), but BlackBerry is trying to stay competitive, so I think this is a good price point for what we get.

  • rzanger

    I’m in. It will be tough letting go of the Q. Good possibility of a 9983 in November for my partner. I need a cheaper gf lol. The 9983 is tough to justify but have spent as much on laptops that got much less use. I just consider that one to be more jewelry than function.

  • Canuckvoip

    I paid $650.00 CDN for my Z10 on launch day. I’m liking this price!

  • Wayno

    I hope that the 3 big carriers in Australia will carry these phones. BlackBerry needs to push the carriers harder. Still no word from Vodafone, Telstra or Optus on any new handsets as yet. Vodafone don’t even list any current phones on their website. My contract has been up for renewal for the past 6 months, if Vodafone won’t be carrying them then I might have to change carrier.

  • Robert

    That price is just as sexy as the Passport.

  • Poita316

    I’m no beter than an iDouche. I’d get this badboy at €999 and walk with a smile from ear to ear.