While the majority of mobile networks have been coy on the availability of the soon to be released Blackberry Passport, Vodafone Group Plc (ADR) (NASDAQ:VOD) (LON:VOD) Germany has bucked the trend. When asked by a user on its forums whether they would be selling the new release, a moderator replied:
“We will take over the BlackBerry Passport in our range. Planned to sell from the beginning of October, but this date has not yet been confirmed by the manufacturer.”
Of course, key details such as pricing are still missing, but Vodafone Germany could certainly be selling the hotly anticipated phablet by early October. BlackBerry themselves have slated September as the release month.
A critical release for BlackBerry
After losing so much market share to iOS and Android devices, it is imperative that the Passport win back customers for BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) if the overall business is to continue to recover after a restructuring process that was begun three years ago.
The latest release targets business professionals who want to become more productive, and BlackBerry hopes that its physical keyboard and 4.5-inch square display will win them over. The technical specifications are certainly impressive, with commentators claiming that the display will be “phenomenal”.
BlackBerry PassPort official release timeline
Pre-registration for the new BlackBerry Passport opened on August 7th on the official BlackBerry website. Those who sign up will be sent an email when the phone is available to pre-order.
The timing of the release throws BlackBerry into a battle of titanic proportions with the the iPhone 6 and the Galaxy Note 4, two of the market rivals that the new Passport needs to steal sales from if it is to be a success.
Pre-registering to be told when you can pre-order a new mobile phone seems like a strange way for those busy professionals to spend their precious time, but BlackBerry will be hoping that their attempts to drum up interest result in good sales figures.