BlackBerry CEO confirms Passport sequel, will also unveil concept device at Mobile World Congress

Ian Hardy

September 26, 2014 1:39pm

BlackBerry announced its quarterly results this morning, stating they are “confident that we will achieve breakeven cash flow by the end of FY15.” This is certainly a different outlook than where the company was a couple years ago when many were writing them — and their stock — off completely.

CEO John Chen also shocked many by saying the company sold 200,000 Passports on the first day of availability. Next up for BlackBerry is the launch of the BlackBerry Classic Q20, a smartphone that will bring back the “belt” function buttons (call, menu, trackpad, back, and end buttons), which Chen claims will likely sell more than the Passport due to its broader appeal.

Chen also hinted at future developments within the company. The CEO confirmed to The Globe & Mail that the company will be working on a second generation of the 3-row QWERTY device. There were no other details listed as to its features or release date.

Finally, another gem by Chen said that BlackBerry will unveil “a new BlackBerry device concept” at the upcoming Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Again, no details were given, but this could be the slider featuring a “storable keyboard [with] a pivoting cover.”

Source Twitter, (2)
  • JB

    Killer! Chen is a beast.

  • Dimitri

    John Chen is the reason why Blackberry is going to go somewhere and he should get alot of credit for this all. Chen is a machine that won’t stop and i love that. Good to see Blackberry going back!

    • Hyun

      Chen needs to release a book or something for others to learn from! Damn he’s kind of like a surgeon, working precisely and efficiently.

  • Denton

    Passport FTW!

  • Neil R Mispelaar

    For the Passport 2: one random idea I had was to take the existing device but put little monochrome LCD screens underneath each physical key. If each key could display an image of a letter or number then you wouldn’t need the on screen portion, thus keeping the screen real estate reserved for content.

    • IgnoranceIsBliss

      e-ink maybe? I’m still wondering what it would have been like with four rows of keys instead of three. Sure, it would have been a bit taller (though they could reduce the height by cutting space off in other areas), but it may make it less of an adjustment to type on and better balance.

    • Tmack

      That’d be a cool concept, especially since e-ink is such low power use but would definitely increase potential functionality.

    • Neil R Mispelaar

      Wow, how did I not know what e-ink was until now? Thanks for sharing.

      A keyboard overlaid with e-ink would be amazing. And think of the possibilities; applications could employ custom key maps over the physical keys. As an example: games could display arrow and action buttons for controls in place of regular letters. Ok, so far I can only think of that example, but there may be others?

    • Tmack

      Media controls for your music/video players, emoticons for texting (smileys), executing commands based on what your doing (copy, paste, etc), could be used if you use your phone as a remote control (again like the media controls previously mentioned). I’m sure there are plenty of other applications it could be used for too

    • Wow that is such a brilliant idea! Go to the patent office immediately!

  • I would crawl 15 miles for a blade style BlackBerry 10 .. like the Torch was.

  • jroc

    Glad to see the were able to sell a bunch of Passports right away, but I don’t know if announcing a sequel before this one is even available is a great call.

    • Christopher

      Doubt it’s legitimately a sequel. It probably more in line with a new device such as a slider or touch with similar specs.

  • Anthony Roberts

    No doubt its the blackberry codename visa and victoria we can with the foldable keyboard and what it makes it better is that it will have a 16×9 ratio so all the people who want that ratio and have a keyboard can be happy now…BB is going to comeback stronger than it ever was…I am so excited!!!!

    • iyin

      lmao

  • KiwiBri

    Sold to consumers or sold to carriers??

    • Anthony Roberts

      Consumer via Amazon and shop blackberry

      Go look at amazon website and type in passport its sold out and currently number 1 best selling phone

    • iyin

      lmfao – number 1 sellling unlocked phone…ignorant dunce…no other phones sell unlocked at a discount price like BB

    • Guest

      Zzzzzzzzzzzz…………..

    • Tmack

      No other phones sell unlocked at a discount? They (Amazon) are selling the GS5 unlocked for $640 vs the Big 3, Telus @ $730, Rogers @ 700, Bell @ 700. Then you must have service with them for 90days, then you can pay $50 to have it unlocked. I love when people post things and insult people when they actually are wrong and now just look like an “ignorant dunce” lolol. I did notice amazon.com is selling the Passport for $600, which if I remember correctly is the price BB quoted the phone would be selling the phone for in the US – which would mean it’s not actually discounted.

    • Christopher

      You seem more like the ignorant dunce. I’m not a BlackBerry fan or user, but you seem butt hurt that the company you hate (probably simply because it’s the cool thing to do) is actually seeing decent success. Grow Up.

  • Raj Singh

    I wanted to replace my Q10 with the Passport but this storable keyboard with pivoting cover has piqued my interest. Looking forward to MWC…

    Sidenote: Also looking forward to a Z Ultra successor (if there is one) and the Xperia Z4 (or whatever they call it).

  • Zohaib

    What a stupid move! You DON’T talk about a ‘sequel’ when the first one has JUST come out or say you will announce an even better product! That puts the consumer off from purchasing the one that is already on the market. I mean, that’s the reason that Apple, Samsung, Google don’t admit they have a new device until the very day it is released, because they know it will eat in to the sales of what’s already on the market.

    • Lamar

      Think you know how it’s done, you should apply to be BB CEO

    • Zohaib

      This is not a CEO thing but a marketing thing with a pinch of common sense. This is how I as a customer feel about the information Blackberry makes available to me! Blackberry made the same mistake after releasing Z10. They started talking about how they were going to come out with an even better phone 6 months later, days after the Z10 came out.

      The second you decide to hype up your next product, you are effectively making the previous one obsolete. Why do you think phones like the Galaxy and iPhone are announced just a couple of weeks before release?

      It doesn’t matter how great this phone is, why should I buy it when even the CEO says its not their best product?

      It seems once Blackberry manages to get some sort of hype, they get overexcited and start immediately focusing on the future. That is good. But don’t tell your customers that! Have them still be excited about the present.

    • steven_bauman_7

      I think the purpose of announcing it so soon was to say they’re not dying any time soon and to say that they are indeed making more phones. Definitely depends on the view you take though.

    • Columbo

      Better not buy an iPhone 6 then because hate to break it to you, a 6S is already in development. And probably a 7. Don’t by the Note 4 either because we’re only a year away from the Note 5.

      Come on, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out release patterns. If anything, I’m more inclined to buy the Passport knowing that BB isn’t imminently leaving the handset business.

    • Zohaib

      Dude, we all know every company is going to release a new product. That’s not the point. Its about marketing and the psychology that comes with it. We all know the difference between something being $399 and $400 isn’t a lot, but it still works.

      People always want to buy the latest and greatest thing ever. That’s why the iPhone and Galaxy are marketed as such. Being revolutionary and what not. Of course behind closed doors they are immediately talking about how they can improve it and make it so much better right after launch. But they market it as being ‘perfect’.

      If Apple came out tomorrow and said the iPhone 7 is going to be sooo much better, it will make the iPhone 6 lose value.

      Right now, noone is thinking about that. But once its mentioned, people do start thinking about it. Especially when buying a phone involves signing multi-year contracts

      When a company comes out days after a product is released and is like they are already focusing on the next phone, it kinda implies they’ve already moved on from this one. Why should I care, if they don’t?

      If was thinking of buying a Passport, I definitely wouldn’t want to now. I’d want to wait the next few months to see what they have in store instead of signing a contract right now.

  • rd0t

    There are a lot of native apps.. And Android apps run really well on 10.3. Gotta love these half wit trolls lol

    • racko

      lol. delusional

    • 5Gs

      Actually he is right. No apps with BB. It pretty much sucks.

    • rd0t

      If all you’re looking for is apps.. BB10 probably isn’t the OS you should choose. For every app that I personally need, I have been able to find a Native BB10 app for it. The developer community has been great in that aspect. Sure, Android and iOS apps are more abundant and arguably better quality than BB10 apps, but that’s where the Android runtime comes in. Anything I cant get in BlackBerry World I can now get from the Amazon App Store officially, or sideload it unofficially. Android apps run really well and it’s only getting better through every OS update.

      So again, this whole notion of BB10 not having apps is ridiculous.

    • 5Gs

      That’s like having a ferrari but to get the maintenance done you have to goto toyota.

      It’s there but would you really want to get that ferrari be touched by toyota’s mechanics?

      Also with side load claim. A lot of apps don’t work properly. Can you try to work out Google Hangouts?? If you can’t that means you are claiming that BB is good because you are getting what you want and it should be good for me even though i am not getting what i want.

    • rd0t

      I get what you’re saying.. but that analogy doesn’t apply anymore. The Android app implementation isn’t as half baked as it used to be. It actually does run 99% of the apps I have tried. With the Amazon App Store, there’s no need to sideload anymore which will make it alot easier for the average consumer. And no, you’re right, my BlackBerry can’t run Hangouts. But here’s the best part.. I don’t want it to. BBM is my messenger of choice.

      Which leads me to your last point. BlackBerry may not be good for you because your smartphone activity is ruled by apps and Hangouts apparently. For the others out there who actually get anything productive done on our smartphones, BlackBerry is the best choice. (fastest multitasking implementation, best in class messaging experience, and host of built in productivity tools).

    • 5Gs

      I agree but to be honest in my whole family and friends group i am the only one who is with BB Z10 and mostly hangouts is supported by most except bb. How am i supposed to talk to them specially when they don’t have bbm. Hangouts is the only option because lately skype has been really acting up and tango and others are not as better as hangouts. Facetime you need to be with apple.

      If you solve this problem of mine i will agree with you 100%

  • PT

    My iOS 8 crashed and bend so I have no choice. LOL!

  • James Erlngson

    Yey, so excited for this 😀 I don’t mind what device it is, love looking forward to new BlackBerry 10 devices!

  • smelka

    I have been an avid hater of Blackberry, as in who’s been running the company in the past, the devices they came out with in the past and just in general, how the previous regime ran the company, but I have to say that…Mr. Chen, you are a BEAST!!!! You are a machine and I am genuinely impressed with how you have turned this company around. Today, I spent some time tinkering with the new Passport and I have to say that, anyone who does a lot of typing will truly enjoy this device. I couldn’t believe how fast I was typing on the Passport and overall, I think that…physically, it’s a great device. I still have trouble with the OS, but I guess it’s a learning curve. I can’t believe I’m finding myself saying this, but I may just honestly give this device a shot once my contract expires. Well done Mr. Chen!!!!!!