By Aaron Mamiit
Images of a gold-pampered edition of the Blackberry Passport were obtained by website Crackberry, showing a luxurious version of the latest Blackberry smartphone.
Crackberry has not been able to confirm if the Passport Gold Edition is an official Blackberry product or a modified version of the device by a third-party. However, signs point to it being an official Blackberry device, as the company that is tagged in one of the photos that Crackberry acquired does not have the pictures of the gold-laden device posted.
The company that is tagged in one of the leaked pictures is parisrosegold, which is a company that is known for manufacturing Gold Edition versions of mobile phones for other companies.
The three leaked images of the Passport Gold Edition show a Passport with golden bezels, including the buttons for the power and volume in gold. The color is much more exciting compared to the otherwise single-colored Passport, which also comes in Porcelain White and Piano Black.
No other details regarding the Passport Gold Edition has been identified, but the smartphone will most likely have the same features and specifications as its Black and White counterparts.
The Passport aims to lure away enterprise users from Apple and Samsung through its unique square design, which is a deviation from the traditional rectangular smartphones in the market. Blackberry is hoping that the design will re-establish the brand as a worthy competitor against rivals Apple and Samsung.
The screen of the Passport measures 4.5 inches, which is slightly smaller than the 4.7-inch screen of the iPhone 6. It also features a very touch-sensitive keyboard that doubles as the device’s trackpad.
“BlackBerry is still fighting for survival,” said Morningstar analyst Brian Colello. “They still need to turn around and develop a viable ongoing business model.”
BlackBerry once dominated the smartphone market with its qwerty keyboard-equipped devices. However, Apple’s iPhones and smartphones running Google’s Android OS took over the market with all-touch devices.
The all-touch BlackBerry Z10 and the qwerty-equipped Blackberry Q10 did not do well in terms of sales last year, despite using the newly-developed BlackBerry 10 OS. This led to the announcement of BlackBerry that it is looking to sell the company.
However, the sale never materialized, with the company deciding instead to oust then CEO Thorsten Heis in November last year and placed John Chen in the position.
BlackBerry is facing a steep climb back to contention, and it is placing its bets on the Passport.