After a teaser campaign spanning many months, BlackBerry is finally set to make the Passport official this Wednesday, on September 24. However, it turns out that we won't only see an announcement on that day - the device will actually go on sale once the event is over.
Details about specific countries in which the Passport will be made available are scarce, but it's safe to assume that the UK, Canada, and the UAE will be among them - because the launch event will take place in London, Toronto, and Dubai.
According to BlackBerry CEO John Chen, within two weeks after Wednesday's launch "a lot of places will have" the Passport, including (unnamed) markets in Asia.
Mr. Chen was also kind enough to let us know that the BlackBerry Passport will cost $599 in the US, unlocked and SIM-free. Obviously though pricing is set to differ slightly across the various places in which the device will be offered, because of local taxes.
Chen is making a big deal out of the fact that the Passport will be (marginally) cheaper than high-end offerings from its competitors, but whether this price difference will end up helping the Canadian company sell more units remains to be seen. Especially since the Passport, with its odd form factor, is probably best viewed as a niche device and nothing more.
The Passport has so far been revealed to come with a 4.5-inch “1.440 x 1. 440” touchscreen, a 13 MP rear camera with LED flash, and a 2 MP front snapper. Running the show will be a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 SoC with a 2.2 GHz quad-core CPU, aided by 3GB of RAM and 32GB of expandable built-in storage.
BlackBerry's CEO talked about the Passport having 36-hour battery life, and that will be possible thanks to its big 3,450 mAh battery. The Passport will have support for all the connectivity options you can think of (including LTE), and will run BlackBerry OS 10.3.