After a painfully long term restructuring, Blackberry is back in the game with a new high tech smartphone. But is it really? The latest marketing campaign sends mixed signals. One would be that Blackberry wants to bribe iPhone users into switching to its latest device, Blackberry Passport.
The Canadian company announced the start of Trade-Up. Give them your iPhone and you will receive a sum of money. If you decide to buy Passport, Blackberry will top the initial sum with an extra $150. The offer starts on Dec. 1 and lasts until February 13.
The offer depends on your current iPhone model, memory size, and the carrier. Starting with iPhone 4S, for which you could receive up to $90, the offer goes up to iPhone 6, for which Blackberry will pay you up to $400. Counting the extra $150, Blackberry buys your iphone for $550.
Passport is now priced at $499, so you could basically trade an iPhone for the Blackberry device. The offer stands only if you buy Passport from Amazon or Blackberry’s online shop. However, it seems unlikely that the average iPhone 6 user will give up hers or his long-awaited Apple smartphone.
But Blackberry Passport is a strangely attractive device. Hardware-wise, the smartphone announced in June and released in September, is quite competitive. Among its main features, we find a quad-core 2.26 Ghz Snapdragon 801 coupled with 3 GB of RAM and an Adreno 330. It’s not exactly the latest technology, but it is close enough.
Besides its decent main specs, Passport has two special characteristics. One is represented by its square screen. The 4.5 inches display sports a 1440 X 1440 resolution, probably the only smartphone with this configuration. Blackberry claims that you will read documents more comfortably on the new device.
A second interesting characteristic is the three-row old school physical keyboard placed at the bottom. While writing, a fourth row containing punctuation marks appears on the screen. Some people may find the feature appealing.
Because of its odd display dimensions, Passport is strikingly different from most other smartphones on the market. At 5.04 inches long, it far shorter than most current flagship smartphones, but its 3.56 inches width makes it the most square shaped smartphone on the market.
Analysts are split on the matter. Most believe that Blackberry is just trying to get attention, but the strategy may provide some results, especially if owners of older iPhones decide to answer the call.