Beleaguered phone maker BlackBerry is looking to make a comeback with the launch of a new smartphone called Passport. The screen is square instead of the normal rectangular shape.
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The Passport features a 4.5 inch-square screen and “a unique touch-sensitive tactile keyboard,” Reuters said. By comparison, Apple’s new iPhone 6 screen measures 4.7 inches and the bigger version measures 5.5 inches.
The company hopes the unorthodox design will again make it competitive with other heavy-hitters in the smartphone industry.
“BlackBerry is still fighting for survival,” Morningstar analyst Brian Colello told Reuters. “They still need to turn around and develop a viable ongoing business model.”
BlackBerry explains why it chose the atypical screen shape in a blog post on the company website. It notes that “we’ve been living in a rectangular world,” a de facto approach that is “perhaps limiting innovation.”
The phone maker identified architects, mortgage brokers, doctors, investment bankers, and writers among the users who will benefit from the unique screen.
BlackBerry CEO John Chen revealed that the phone will retail for $US599, according to NDTV. It will launch worldwide within two weeks of launch events being held in Toronto, Dubai, and London on Wednesday.
“The BlackBerry Passport is like the IMAX of productivity, and you don’t have to sacrifice screen real estate, vertically or horizontally,” the company said.