BlackBerry reveals 200,000 Passports have been ordered since launch

26 Sep 2014

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The new BlackBerry Passport smartphone

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Smartphone maker Blackberry has sold 200,000 units of its latest mobile handset, the Passport, since its launch two days ago, the company said.

CNET reports that the device sold out in six hours on the BlackBerry website and within 10 hours on Amazon, making it the online retailer’s top unlocked smartphone.

BlackBerry has adopted an aggressive price strategy in an attempt to regain a foothold in the smartphone market. The Passport costs US$599 in the US without subsidies. The iPhone 6, meanwhile, starts at US$649 without contract, while Samsung’s Galaxy S5 costs around US$650.

Speaking earlier this week, BlackBerry chief executive John Chen said the true value of the Passport is around the US$700 mark, “but I figure that to try to get the market interested, we’re going to start a little lower than that”.

Plans for the Passport were unveiled in July, with the square-shaped smartphone attracting some criticism for its design. The company, however, has asserted it’s ideal for reading documents on the go, such as medical charts, spreadsheets, e-books and webpages. The device also sports the firm’s signature physical keyboard.

With the Passport selling out quickly due to BlackBerry only providing a small intial order, its immediate success seems to have taken even the company by surprise.

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Dean is a freelance journalist and editor covering media.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com