More reports on: Telecom

BlackBerry to launch Passport at $599

23 September 2014

In a bid to drive up BlackBerry sales CEO John Chen hopes to lure subscribers with a new square  smartphone which would be available for $599.

The price on offer is the contract-free price, which is cheaper than the iPhone 6, which started at $649 off-contract, while the iPhone 6 Plus, sold without a contract for $749-$949.

Samsung's flagship Galaxy S5, meanwhile, opened for sale this year for about $650.

"But I figure that to try to get the market interested, we're going to start a little lower than that," Chen told the Journal.

BlackBerry's 4.5-inch square handset would launch on Wednesday. It comes with a 1,440-by-1,440 display which offers the same viewing space as a 5-inch phone, according to the company, and the physical QWERTY keyboard for which the company is known.

According to early reports, the device would come equipped with a quad-core Qualcomm processor and large 3,450mAh battery, though it looked like interested consumers would need to wait until 24 September for additional details.

According to the The Wall Street Journal, the launch on Wednesday would go live simultaneously in Toronto, London and Dubai and the phone would be available "immediately" in some stores.

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