BlackBerry has unveiled its latest square-screen smartphone ‘the passport’ described by the brand as a ‘market disrupter’. In a presentation in London the manufacturer’s COO Marty Bird said that he was tired of the ‘misquote that “BlackBerry is getting out of the phone business’ and that the new phone was a ‘disrupter and very BlackBerry’.
The firm also took the opportunity to explain its financial strategy designed to arrest the business’s cash burn which Bird said was simple: ‘generate cash from operations and make money’. The company also unveiled a slide that read ‘turnaround milestones’ with a list of improvements the manufacturer had made over the last few years.
Business customers were very much the market segment that BlackBerry targeted with this new device, and BlackBerry had several presentations from industry specific applications demonstrating how the new model could assist them.
In a bullish address to clients, business partners and the press Bird said: ‘Were not getting out of the phone business, quite the opposite. This new Passport phone is designed for mobile professionals. People who use their phone 50% of the time for business. We believe that this segment accounts for around 30% of the total smartphone market.
‘We know the mobile professional space better than any other company. But we also believe in innovation and are looking to break away from the sea of sameness. This phone is based on the concept of the passport. We’ve been listening to our customers and have laser focused on their needs.
‘Europe is an important region for BlackBerry customers in this region early adopters of the smartphone trend convinced they will love what we have unveiled.’
The Passport will be available from direct channels from today [24/09/2014], in Carphone Warehouse on Friday and through Vodafone enterprise ‘in days’.