Great news for the BlackBerry faithful from Down Under! You can finally get your hands on the BlackBerry Passport. The BlackBerry Passport is officially available from Optus effective October 20th, with an off-plan pricing of AUD $899, or on a range of 24-month plans.
That prices does seem a bit elevated when you take into account the currency conversion ($889.25 CAD/$788.45 USD), but this seems to not be an uncommon practice with smartphone manufacturers in Australia.
You can read the full press release below. Let us know if you'll be getting your hands on this still elusive device!
BlackBerry Passport Redefines Productivity for Mobile Professionals with Boundary-Breaking Design and Features
Sydney – October 20, 2014 – BlackBerry Limited (NASDAQ: BBRY; TSX: BB), a global leader in mobile communications, today announced the availability of the all new BlackBerry® Passport in Australia. Featuring a large square touch screen, new QWERTY touch-enabled keyboard and BlackBerry’s latest 10.3 operating system, the BlackBerry Passport gives users a wider vision to do mobile business without compromising portability.
BlackBerry’s authorised carrier partner, Optus, is the first to make the BlackBerry Passport available in Australia. Available to pre-order since 1st October for Optus corporate and enterprise customers, the BlackBerry Passport can now be ordered at any Optus Store nationally. The BlackBerry Passport from Optus is available off-plan for AUD $899, or on a range of 24-month plans.
Matthew Ball, BlackBerry Managing Director, Australia and New Zealand said, “We are excited to bring the first square screen design and touch-enabled keyboard smartphone – the BlackBerry Passport – to Australia. This is a milestone for us here at BlackBerry and we are certain that this smartphone will resonate well amongst our Australian customers that are focused on getting things done. The BlackBerry Passport is aimed at mobile professionals and will allow users to elevate their productivity and collaborate more effectively.”
Thoughtful Design for the Mobile Professional
Inspired by actual passports, the universal symbol of mobility, the size and form factor of BlackBerry Passport is portable enough to easily tuck into pockets and use wherever you go. Utilizing premium, robust materials such as Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3 for the display and forged stainless steel for added strength, BlackBerry Passport will provide the durability business professionals require in a smartphone.
The large square screen is optimized for viewing and creating content, and will make everyday tasks like reading and writing emails, reviewing and editing documents, web browsing, and map navigation, more comfortable and effortless. The BlackBerry Passport includes the industry’s first touch-enabled keyboard with gestures that make typing, editing and navigating more efficient and accurate. BlackBerry’s physical QWERTY keyboards have always made it easier for users to create polished, professional communications with exceptional accuracy. According to a BlackBerry user study, BlackBerry Passport’s new QWERTY keyboard is almost four times more accurate than BlackBerry 10 virtual keyboards – the error rate is on average 74% lower – so there are fewer typos to get in the way of what you’re trying to say.
The BlackBerry Passport and the Porsche Design P’9983 smartphone from BlackBerry are the first devices to launch on BlackBerry’s latest OS platform, BlackBerry 10.3. They come preloaded with new productivity-enhancing features including BlackBerry Blend and BlackBerry Assistant, as well as the BlackBerry® World™ storefront and Amazon Appstore, offering access to the very best apps for work and play.
BlackBerry® Blend brings messaging and content that is on your BlackBerry smartphone to your computer and tablet. Get instant message notifications, read and respond to your work and personal email, BBM or text messages, and access your documents, calendar, contacts and media in real time on whatever device you are on, powered by your BlackBerry. BlackBerry Blend has launched on the BlackBerry Passport and the Porsche Design P’9983 from BlackBerry, and will work across desktop operating systems, including Mac OS X 10.7 +, iPad tablets running iOS 7+, Windows 7+ and Android tablets running Android 4.4+. The downloadable version of BlackBerry Blend for Macs and PCs is available today at www.BlackBerry.com/Blend, on the Apple® App StoreSM for iPad tablets, or via the Google Play™ Store for Android tablets.
Highlight features of the BlackBerry Passport include:
- Large High-Resolution Square Screen – The BlackBerry Passport includes a 4.5” square screen with a 1:1 aspect ratio, 1440×1440 pixel (453 dpi) HD display and Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3 for added strength.
- Innovative BlackBerry® Keyboard – The BlackBerry Passport’s revolutionary new keyboard brings innovation to input with a responsive touch surface like a trackpad that lets you perform many touch functions directly on the keyboard. You can scroll web pages, flick to type or slide along the keys to move the cursor, leaving the full screen space for viewing.
- BlackBerry® 10 OS 10.3 – The BlackBerry Passport comes preloaded with the new BlackBerry 10.3 operating system, including new features such as BlackBerry Assistant, BlackBerry Blend and Amazon Appstore. It has a fresh look that incorporates updated icons and an instant action bar so that each users’ most commonly accessed functions are in the center of their screen.
- Best-in-Class Battery Life – The 3450 mAh battery is the largest battery for any smartphone or phablet in the market today, and when tested against a very active user, provides up to 30 hours of mixed use. It’s our best battery power to date.*
- Dual App Storefronts for a Wealth of Professional and Popular Apps
- BlackBerry World – BlackBerry World showcases essential productivity apps for business professionals looking to drive efficient communications and collaboration.
- Amazon Appstore – Preloaded on BlackBerry Passport, users can access popular consumer apps through the Amazon Appstore, including the latest Android games and apps, such as Minecraft – Pocket Edition, Candy Crush Saga, Pinterest, Temple Run 2 and Cut the Rope 2.
- BlackBerry Assistant – The BlackBerry Assistant is BlackBerry’s first digital assistant and can be used with voice and text commands to help users manage work and personal email, contacts, calendar and other native BlackBerry 10 applications. BlackBerry Assistant intelligently determines how to respond to you based on how you interact with it – if you type, it responds silently; if you speak, it speaks back; and if you activate over Bluetooth, it speaks back with additional context because it assumes you might not have access to the screen.
- Premium Components – The device is built for the most demanding user using durable materials mixed with top-of-the-line technology, including a Quad Core 2.2 GHZ Processor, 3 GB RAM, 13 MP OIS rear camera and 32 GB memory.
- BlackBerry® Natural Sound – BlackBerry Passport comes with powerful speakers and a quad microphone system that delivers a high-quality listening experience. BlackBerry® Natural Sound Technology is built in to adapt Wi-Fi and cellular call sound depending upon phone position and background noise, automatically adjusting volume so you don’t have to.
For more information about BlackBerry Passport, please visit www.BlackBerry.com/Passport. To learn more about BlackBerry Blend, please visit www.BlackBerry.com/Blend.
For more information about the BlackBerry Passport from Optus, please visit your local Optus store or call 133 937
*Based on mixed usage scenario. Many factors affect battery life, including network connectivity, application usage, feature configuration and battery age. Actual results may vary.
A global leader in mobile communications, BlackBerry® revolutionized the mobile industry when it was introduced in 1999. Today, BlackBerry aims to inspire the success of our millions of customers around the world by continuously pushing the boundaries of mobile experiences. Founded in 1984 and based in Waterloo, Ontario, BlackBerry operates offices in North America, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Asia Pacific and Latin America. The Company trades under the ticker symbols “BB” on the Toronto Stock Exchange and “BBRY” on the NASDAQ. For more information, visit www.Blackberry.com