Read our full BlackBerry Passport review.
A leak has potentially revealed BlackBerry’s smartphone release plans for the near future, along with the type of customer it expects to purchase the new devices. The details have appeared in the form of a product “roadmap,” which may have been taken from internal documentation. There’s no source for the leak, so take it as a very unofficial look at how the company sees the next months progressing.
Between now and the end of the year, we should expect four new phones from BlackBerry. We already know about the Passport, which has been partially confirmed for launch in the next month, but it could also be joined by another phone, codename Khan. Later, BlackBerry could introduce two other phones, the Q20 and the Manitoba Z3 LTE.
Apparently, these four phones will be aimed at very specific BlackBerry customers, or at least, the customers it hopes to attract. The basic Manitoba Z3 LTE is listed as being “affordable,” and may end up being someone’s first smartphone, while the “classic” Q20 is “powerful yet uncomplicated,” and may appeal to existing BlackBerry business users. Interestingly, the BlackBerry slide associated with the Q20 adds it’s for someone who needs “a tool, not a toy, a phrase we’ve heard before, but from outside the company.
Under the title of “innovation” is the Passport, which is designed to give its owner an air of achievement and success, and finally, there’s the Khan. This could be a follow-up to the luxury P’9882 Porsche Design phone from last year, and inevitably will command a similarly high price tag. The roadmap also says we should expect the BlackBerry 10.3 update to arrive with the Passport.
While the Passport and the Khan should come before the end of 2014, the Q20 and the Z3 may slip into 2015, and don’t appear on the leaked slide. All this comes soon after BlackBerry CEO John Chen said the company had completed its three-year restructure, and was “on its way to recovery.”