Speculations about release date of BlackBerry Passport on AT&T has been finally put to rest after the carrier announced the launch date as February 20.
BlackBerry Passport will soon be available on AT&T allowing users in the U.S. to make an actual test of the device. As per the announcement made by the wireless carrier AT&T on Monday, the Passport (redesigned) and Classic will be made available on its online and retail stores beginning February 20th. For several months, the Passport device was available online at its full price previously.
AT&T to offer Passport under various plans
Under a two-year contract, Passport device exclusive to AT&T will sell for $200 while it will sell for $650 without a contract. BlackBerry Classic will sell for $420 without contract while its two-year contract price will be $50. The carrier is, also, offering the device under various monthly plans.
Passport is a 4.5-inch square device with a QWERTY keyboard. The device has been redesigned with rounded edges for offering it on AT&T exclusively. Rest of the specifications of the device is unchanged barring the cosmetic change. The device unveiled last September attracted 200,000 orders in the early phase, but later not much have been talked by the company about the demand for the device.
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Separately, a recent report from CrackBerry informs that BlackBerry Classic will be available on Verizon network from Feb. 26.
BlackBerry back, but still a long way to go
The Canadian smartphone maker is struggling to match pace with the other competitors in the mobile market, and therefore it has launched new devices in quick succession, and Passport and Classic are critical for it to maintain its place. A few years back, BlackBerry held the top position among the smartphone makers, but since then there has been a drastic fall in the brand’s popularity with market share falling to less than 1%.
Therefore, after John Chen took over as the CEO, the company shifted its focus toward business-class software and services. The company still needs help from its smartphone business because the segment will help in driving the new sources of revenue. Even though BlackBerry has attained some stability in the financial condition, but it will have to go through several more hindrances for getting back the past glory.