Newsletters
News & Information for Technology Purchasers NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
This ad will display for the next 20 seconds. Click for more information, or
Home Enterprise I.T. Cloud Computing Applications Hardware More Topics...
Cloud Computing
Tame your scariest paperwork. Find Out How
Average Rating:
Rate this article:  
Seeking To Stand Out, BlackBerry Goes Square
Seeking To Stand Out, BlackBerry Goes Square

By Barry Levine
July 8, 2014 1:46PM

    Bookmark and Share
The square Passport smartphone from BlackBerry is expected to be formally launched in September at a London event. While software and in-phone hardware innovations are having a difficult time standing out, Passport's dramatically new form factor could help BlackBerry set itself apart and offer an easier-to-use productivity device for professionals.
 



BlackBerry is out with its Passport smartphone. The new device stands out for one geometrical attribute: it's square.

"It's hip to be square," the Canadian smartphone maker asserted Monday on its Inside BlackBerry blog. The Passport offers a 4.5-inch square 1440 x 1440 screen with full HD, and, the company said, provides the same viewing space as a five-inch phone, but with "an even better viewing experience because of the screen's width."

The company offers several reasons why a square form factor is better. For one thing, BlackBerry said, the optimal number of characters in a line from a physical book is 66.

40 Versus 60 Characters

However, most current smartphones show only about 40 characters, while the Passport will have 60 -- thus presenting "the ideal device for reading e-books, viewing documents and browsing the Web." The idea is that, if your phone is square, deciding whether to view something in a portrait or landscape mode could be a thing of the past.

Use cases cited by the smartphone maker include architects and mortgage brokers looking at full designs and schematics on the go, or doctors reviewing X-rays or medical documentation in the office with a patient. Stockbrokers would have enough real estate to more clearly see financial transactions and information, not to mention the ability to somewhat navigate spreadsheets. For anyone needing a more spread-out QWERTY physical keyboard, the Passport's screen is still visible while you type -- unlike virtual keyboards on most smartphones.

The Passport was revealed by the company last month, and is expected to be formally launched in September at a London event. While software and in-phone hardware innovations are having a difficult time standing out from the deluge of features in countless competing smartphones, a dramatically new form factor could help BlackBerry set itself apart while providing an easier-to-use productivity device for professionals.

However, while this is the first totally square phone, there have been other phones with "squarish" designs including the LG Vu series, which also has rounded corners. While the shape of the Passport does appear to suit software and files better than rectangular smartphones, there's also the question of whether it will easily fit into most pockets and if it can be readily held in one hand.

Messenger, Healthcare

Meanwhile, in other BlackBerry news, there's good news for Windows Phone-owning fans of BlackBerry's popular Messenger: the communications app is now in the Windows Phone store. The not-quite-so-good news: it's only available in private beta mode.

The app was made available last year to much acclaim and millions of downloads for users of iOS and Android devices. The Windows Phone version had been promised by this summer for versions 8 and 8.1, and a beta version with more open availability is expected in the next few weeks.

Additionally, a story in The Economic Times of Indian revealed recently that BlackBerry has invested in a health tech firm called NantHealth, resulting in a minority share. BlackBerry will work with NantHealth to launch its healthcare platform in Indian hospitals.
 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:

jubatus:

Posted: 2014-07-10 @ 4:26pm PT
The BlackBerry Passport will meet the needs of any business person. Prosumers and consumers alike will like the Super specs which leave the iphone in the stone age. You will also avoid the hell storm malaware ridden Android behind. Android apps will be available for this phone , as they are currently for any new os 10 device. Apps will be sandboxed, no need to worry about Android malaware.

Ken M:

Posted: 2014-07-09 @ 8:19am PT
While BB may indeed be correct about 40 vs 66 characters, I wonder if they've actually tested the importance of the customer need they're seeking to solve.

The Passport might be the best device at performing that specific function but if that function is fulfilling a less important need than hand comfort (or anything else the square design might detract from), then it's a wasted effort.

I could be wrong, but I suspect (knowing them) they became overly focused on solving a specific problem, without testing whether it was worth solving or worth the sacrifices in order to solve.



APC has an established a reputation for solid products that virtually pay for themselves upon installation. Who has time to spend worrying about system downtime? APC makes it easy for you to focus on business growth instead of business downtime with reliable data center systems and IT solutions. Learn more here.


 Cloud Computing
1.   Oracle Updates Database, Linux Products
2.   Cloud Wars: AWS vs. Microsoft, IBM
3.   Yammer Moved to Office 365
4.   IBM, California Partner in the Cloud
5.   Dropbox for Business Boosts Security


advertisement
Amazon Intros Zocalo Storage Service
Online storage and sharing for business.
Average Rating:
Avaya Pressing Hard on Cloud-Based UC
Provides easier, faster provisioning.
Average Rating:
Cisco Woos More Devs with DevNet
To create new network-aware apps.
Average Rating:
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Tor Internet Privacy Service Warns Users It Was Breached
You may never have heard of the Tor Project, but the Internet privacy service is making headlines. Tor’s devs say users might be victims of an attack launched against the project earlier this year.
 
Canadian Government Charges China With Cyberattack
The government of Canada is not happy with China. Canadian officials have accused "a highly sophisticated Chinese state-sponsored actor" of launching a cyberattack on its National Research Council.
 
Researchers Working To Fix Tor Security Exploit
Developers for the Tor privacy browser are scrambling to fix a bug revealed Monday that researchers say could allow hackers, or government surveillance agencies, to track users online.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Apple Updates MacBook Pros, Cuts Prices Up to $100
The popular MacBook Pro laptop line just got an update and a price cut of as much as $100. The MacBook Pro with Retina display now includes faster processors and double the memory.
 
Dell, BlackBerry Not Sweating Apple-IBM Alliance
IBM's recent move to partner with Apple to sell iPhones and iPads loaded with corporate applications has excited investors in both companies, but two rivals say they are unperturbed for now.
 
Watson Gets His First Customer Service Gig
Since appearing on Jeopardy, IBM's Watson supercomputer has been making a living using his super-intelligent knowledge base for business verticals. Now, Watson's been hired for his first customer service job.
 

Mobile Technology Spotlight
Virgin Mobile Offers Custom Smartphone Plans
As the wireless carrier wars continue heating up, Virgin Mobile just threw the customization coal onto the fire. The firm has debuted a no-annual-contract plan with rates based on individual use.
 
Collaboration Provider Asana Revamps Mobile App
Asana, a collaboration software provider started by a Facebook founder, is now out with a rebuilt native iOS mobile app. It replaces one that even the company admits was not up to par.
 
Facebook: You Will Use Messenger, and You Will Like It
Starting this week, Facebook users with Android and iOS phones will be forced to use the separate Messenger app to send Facebook messages. Pending messages will still be visible in the main app.
 

Navigation
NewsFactor Network
Home/Top News | Enterprise I.T. | Cloud Computing | Applications | Hardware | Mobile Tech | Big Data | Communications
World Wide Web | Network Security | Data Storage | CRM Systems | Microsoft/Windows | Apple/Mac | Linux/Open Source | Personal Tech
Press Releases
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.