Verizon isn’t expected to launch the BlackBerry Classic and Passport on its network for about another week
The BlackBerry Passport and Classic have officially been released on the AT&T network. The mobile carrier announced previously that it would launch the two QWERTY keyboard smartphones on Feb. 20, and that day has finally arrived.
AT&T gets special edition BlackBerry Passport
AT&T is one of the first mobile carriers to launch the BlackBerry Passport and Classic on its network. BlackBerry redesigned the Passport slightly according to AT&T’s request by rounding the edges of the smartphone. The BlackBerry Passport on the AT&T network sells for $200 with a new two-year contract, $650 without a contract and $21.67 per month for 30 months on the AT&T Next plan.
BlackBerry is taking a huge gamble in releasing the Passport, which is highly unusual with its square-shaped design. The company hopes it will appeal to business users because the QWERTY keyboard makes it easier to type and send emails and text messages. It’s also designed to make it easier to read and write documents on the device.
BlackBerry Classic a bit cheaper
Those who would like to pick up a BlackBerry Classic on the AT&T network will find that it sets them back a little bit less than the Passport does. The new Classic on AT&T is only $50 with a two-year contract, $420 without a contract or $14 per month for 30 months through the AT&T Next plan.
The Classic is designed to appeal to legacy BlackBerry users for the purpose of bringing them back into the fold. BlackBerry did add some additional features and tweak legacy features to improve the Classic.
It’s believed that the BlackBerry Classic and Passport will arrive on the Verizon network on Feb. 20.
BlackBerry rolls out latest update
On Thursday, BlackBerry also rolled out the 10.3.1 update for its operating system. The company added a dual app store to provide access not only to its own apps through BlackBerry World but also Android apps through the Amazon Appstore. Management hopes consumers will be less hesitant to switch to BlackBerry because the number of available apps has increased significantly with the addition of the Amazon Appstore.
Included in the BlackBerry 10.3.1 update are BlackBerry Blend, BlackBerry Assistant and a host of other new features and improvements.