5 reactions to surprise unveiling of BlackBerry Passport phablet

BlackBerry CEO John Chen poses with the Passport.
(From CP reporter David Friend via Twitter.)

BlackBerry Ltd. held its quarterly financials call today and surprised analysts by announcing it had returned to profitability after making some tough cutbacks. But that wasn’t the only surprise in store as CEO John Chen teased new hardware to be released at a trade show in London this September. The 4.5-inch square screen phablet device also has a very wide keyboard on it and looks – well, different – from other devices on the market today. Here’s five reactions from tech gadget reviewers on the web.


“I have no idea what to say about this device. It’s not a Passbook, to its credit, but is it something better? BlackBerry is clearly committed to its core audience’s love of the hardware keyboard, but putting one on what’s basically a tablet seems like the wrong way to interpret that desire… And I do kind of want one for the lulz.” – Daryl Etherington for TechCrunch


“The shape of the phone is definitely different and it does have the famed BlackBerry keyboard that so many love. The shape of the company is still in question, however.” – Kevin C. Tofel for Gigaom.


“Visually, it’s a WIDE device – it [sic] almost has the dimensions of a Passport… Personally, I’m loving the name. It’s one that business users and frequent fliers will definitely appreciate. You never leave home without your Passport!” – Kevin Michaluk, CrackBerry.


“It’s not entirely clear what BlackBerry is shooting for with the Passport; it’s more or less a business class take on the phablet — a really, really square phablet. And it’s so wide; even wider than Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3. The BlackBerry Passport is due sometime this September, so for now all we can do is look and imagine trying to successfully hold it in one hand.” – Chris Welch for The Verge.


“Unlike other BlackBerrys with squared-off displays, the folks in Waterloo didn’t feel the need to craft a more traditional (some would say more hand-friendly) chassis… If reports hold true, you’ll also be able to trace out gestures directly on the (now cramped) keyboard, though why you’d do that instead of paw at a touchscreen is still unclear. The company implored us all to “be bold” a few years back, and it’s definitely taking its own advice this time.” – Chris Velazco for Engadget.


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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Brian Jackson
Brian Jacksonhttp://www.itbusiness.ca
Editorial director of IT World Canada. Covering technology as it applies to business users. Multiple COPA award winner and now judge. Paddles a canoe as much as possible.

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