So far we’ve seen a few photos and an early review of the Passport — BlackBerry’s upcoming square-shaped smartphone — but now the company has come forward to explain the reasoning behind its unconventional design.
BlackBerry believes the traditional candy bar touchscreen smartphone is long overdue for a design change.
In its most recent blog post, the company poses an argument as to why a square phone is better than a rectangular one.
BlackBerry also included a rendering of its Passport alongside an iPhone 5 and a Samsung Galaxy phone (presumably the S5) to illustrate how they compare.
The Passport, unsurprisingly, is noticeably wider than either phone.
BlackBerry is seemingly promoting the device as a smartphone, phablet, and e-reader all in one.
For example, citing “academic typology,” BlackBerry says the average number of characters per line in a book is 66. The company claims its Passport can show 60 characters per line while the average smartphone can supposedly only show 40.
The company also refers to the Passport as the IMAX of smartphones because of its wide display:
“The Passport is like the IMAX of productivity, and you don’t have to sacrifice screen real estate, vertically or horizontally,” the post reads,
As is the case with most of Blackberry’s devices, the Passport is designed for business users rather than traditional consumers. It’s clearly meant for those that need to spend time looking at spreadsheets and documents on the go, but it’s unclear whether or not such a device will be enough to bring Blackberry back from it’s slump. In the last quarter of 2013, the IDC reported that BlackBerry’s global market share dropped to 0.6%.
Based on an early review of the Passport, it seems like the device’s keyboard will be one of its key features. Crackberry got its hands on an early version of the phone, saying its keyboard is touch sensitive just like the “trackpad of a Macbook.”
Although the phone seems abnormally large, Crackberry says the BlackBerry Passport will still fit in your pocket — although you shouldn’t count on fitting anything else in that pocket.
We expect to learn more about the BlackBerry Passport in September, when the company is expected to debut the device.