It looks as though BlackBerry really pushed the right buttons with its launch of the Passport. The company quickly sold out of the device. Just this past weekend, BlackBerry offered a discount, spurring more sales. By early Saturday (October 4), the Passport was sold out again. What is so great about the device, and why is this appropriate for business and users?
BlackBerry is top in offering mobile security solutions. Security is the backbone for the company. Passport, in particular, offers more than just secure messaging. The device has respectable hardware and is reasonably priced. In the US it is only $599 unlocked. In Canada, the device sells for $699 (due to such things as exchange rates).
Hardware specifications are excellent. The Passport has 32GB of storage, with microSD expandability for up to 128GB storage. There is 3GB of RAM and a quad-core processor (an 801 series quad-core 2.2 GHz SnapDragon CPU). By comparison, iPhone has 1GB memory and a dual core processor. The powerful external speaker also stands out. The square 1:1 ratio display is touted by BlackBerry as offering superior document and spreadsheet reading. In short, the display makes viewing on “landscape mode” redundant and unnecessary.
Expect sell-out to constrain supply
Two groups of users appreciate having a physical keyboard on a smart phone: older users and business users. Older users (say age 70 – 80) will not have the calm nerves of today’s youth. This makes typing on a screen very difficult. Business users also appreciate a physical keyboard because it is simply faster imputing information with it. BlackBerry took the iconic keyboard design a step further. Above the physical keyboard, users have a 4th virtual row of keys. The characters displayed on the screen adapt to the user over time. While critics focus on the Passport’s unusual shape, users adapt to the screen resolution, the keyboard, word flicking, and other functions in BBOS10. In effect they become more productive using the device over time.
Another innovative addition BlackBerry added to Passport was making the physical keyboard act like a mouse. This gives users another way for scrolling through content. When it comes to going through email, users may now navigate quickly through emails using quick keys once again. This feature was available back on BBOS 7.
Users cite the Hub, security, and a good Web browser as some of the benefits of using BlackBerry 10 devices. Passport offers a longer battery life, a unique screen resolution, and Android 4.3 runtime. This lets users run some Android apps.
Security still in focus
Recent security iCloud leaks make users appreciate the importance of security. BlackBerry still has the reputation of offering the best level of security.
Once the level of demand subsides in the next few weeks, corporations should consider replacing their old fleet of devices with the Passport. The device is most appropriate for users that rely on higher productivity, through the use of a physical keyboard.