BlackBerry and AT&T have teamed up again to sell and promote the company’s over-sized Passport smartphone in the United States. There are hardly any details about the launch date except for the information that the carrier will soon carry the device, which will be slightly re-designed.
Redesigned Passport exclusively for AT&T
The new Passport will be rounded at the corners, as has been requested by AT&T. The Canadian smartphone maker paid heed to the mobile carrier’s requests, which also hints at why the device is taking so long to reach AT&T stores.
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Also the BlackBerry Passport will be slightly more affordable now, with AT&T deciding to sell it for $199.99 with a two-year contract, dropping the price from $249 with a two-year contract price, which was decided last year. Also AT&T will offer installment plans to BlackBerry customers, who can either choose not to make any down payment and then pay 20 or 24 equal monthly installments.
Since AT&T has not yet announced the release date for the device, potential customers could have to wait a bit longer. Also the BlackBerry Classic will be available on the carrier’s network “in the near future,” says a report from GSM Arena. The device will be available for $49.99 with a two-year contract or $419.99 without a long-term agreement.
BlackBerry and AT&T together again
Lately it has been seen that BlackBerry and AT&T are getting along together easily. At the unveiling of the BlackBerry Classic in New York City, there was an AT&T executive accompanying Chen.
Citing a former BlackBerry insider, a report from The Globe and Mail said AT&T was not very fond of the Passport in the beginning. Designers backed the design of the smartphone though, citing it as a distinctive-looking device that can be clearly differentiated from its touchscreen competitors. However, AT&T preferred a more “bland” but less polarizing look by rounding the sharp corners.
During a press conference at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, CEO John Chen said, “AT&T wanted rounded corners. Some of us are more square. No other reason than that.”
The Canadian smartphone maker benefited immensely from carrier-supported marketing campaigns in the past, and by redesigning the Passport, Chen wants to win back the support of carriers again.