The Passport won't save BlackBerry

The main reason for buying BlackBerry, increased productivity, is all but imaginary

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The Passport won't save BlackBerry Can you actually get more done on the BlackBerry Passport than on the iPhone?
By  Tom Paye Published  September 25, 2014

BlackBerry yesterday took the wraps off its new flagship device, the Passport. Up until this week, the struggling smartphone vendor has been playing its cards pretty close to the chest with this new phone, leaking only tidbits of information.

But it's here now. And I'm here to explain why this new device won't have the slightest bearing on BlackBerry's long, slow march towards irrelevancy.

Full disclosure: I wasn't invited to the launch event, and I haven't had a chance to test the new device myself. But, to anyone with even a reasonable grasp of the mobile market, the fact that the Passport won't save BlackBerry should be obvious.

IN PICS: The BlackBerry Passport

The most noticeable thing about the Passport is its shape - with a screen stretching 4.5 inches and a touch-keyboard underneath, it's more square than rectangle. BlackBerry has made big claims about how this form factor is more productive than the usual rectangular shape that we've become accustomed to. For example, one slide at the launch said that the Passport was more effective for viewing charts and graphs than, say, the new iPhone is.

"You can see all your charts and numbers at once!" they beamed. "We've got a new voice assistant!" they boasted. "We've redefined the keyboard!" they cried.

While most of the tech media excitedly gobbled up these the gimmicks, the Wall Street Journal took a more considered approach - "BlackBerry's new Passport has some neat tricks but is living in the past." You couldn't put it better. There's a reason why most of the world has moved on from the physical QWERTY keyboard - the all-round experience is just better. Sure, you might lose a little bit of typing speed, but overall you get a more fluid user interface. And, anyway, thanks to the improvements to do with autocorrect and custom keyboards like Swift, I'm not even sure the physical keyboard argument holds true anymore.

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1685 days ago

C.E.O. Chen did make it clear; this phone is for the 'prosumer', meaning that it's targeting business and corporate oriented folks,
with a screen ratio of 1:1, it's great for viewing spreadsheets, word files, websites, emails without the usual scrolling compared to usual 16:9 screens that are the norm.
It isn't great for viewing videos, that much is obvious, but Blackberry have something here, it may not be everyone's cup of tea, but it has raised eyebrows, curiosity and more so, my attention.

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