Saturday - Jul 22, 2017

BlackBerry goes square to take a bite out Apple


BlackBerry goes square to take a bite out Apple

Canadian cell phone makers BlackBerry, who in recent years have been struggling to keep pace with the principal “movers and shakers” in the Smartphone industry have made a serious attempt to capture the attention of their largest market, the business sector, with the launch of their Smartphone, which stands out for its unique square-shape, to allow business people on the move to easily scan spreadsheets, emails and similar business documents.

The 4.5-inch square screened Smartphone, to be known as the Blackberry Passport, was launched at events simultaneously staged in Toronto, London and Dubai, marking the often financially beleaguered company’s first global phone launch since John Chen took up the role of CEO in November of last year.

Blackberry users are bound to be pleased about the price being asked for the Passport, just $600, as much as the fact that the company have retained the much-loved tap keyboard option, but cleverly modified to also act as a touch pad.

For those who like to keep organised, the Passport also comes with a powerful “Digital Assistant” feature, to help the business traveller manage their travel and meeting schedule, as well as act as an overseer for the other apps that can be downloaded for the Blueberry Passport.

The Passport’s wide screen will also be as durable as its is effective, constructed using a combination of super tough “Gorilla Glass” in a stainless steel frame. According to BlackBerry the Passport’s Qwerty keyboard has been set up to be almost four times more accurate than BlackBerry 10 virtual keyboards, with an error rate that the company claims is 74 per cent lower.

At the global Blackberry previews, members of the media were conservatively effusive in the praise of the newer, squarer Blackberry, even during a week when Apple introduced their new iPhone6, with most analysts hastening to point out that sales of the Passport could only be confined to the niche target market of “regulated industries” of finance and healthcare, and government, where “Mobile professionals” comprise up to 30 per cent of the market.

In the last twelve months, BlackBerry’s market share within the global enterprise sector has reportedly fallen from 10 per cent to under 3 per cent.

Under the stewardship of John Chen, BlackBerry has been seen to be stabilising, improving their cash flow, and have established a clear strategy to return to growth and profitability, which could be achieved as early as their next fiscal year, although analysts still expect its second-quarter results due within the coming days to show a loss.

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