BlackBerry officially unveiled its first new, major smartphone since 2013, the Passport, and said that the square device aimed at business users will be available through AT&T Mobility. However, BlackBerry did not announce any other U.S. carrier partners for the device, which could limit U.S. sales.
BlackBerry plans to formally unveil its newest smartphone, the Passport, on Sept. 24 and will sell it for $599 in the U.S. without subsidies, according to CEO John Chen. The phone's launch is scheduled to come just ahead of the release of BlackBerry's earnings, scheduled for Sept. 26. The company is releasing the gadget as it tries to consolidate the gains it has made under Chen in turning around its business.
Huawei is aiming to crack into the market for technology sales to large businesses as a way to diversify its revenue streams and make use of what it has learned in the telecoms market. The company said it has had a compound annual growth rate of 40 percent in each of the years since it launched its enterprise business in 2011, and based on that growth the company expects to expand its enterprise business to $10 billion annually by 2017.
LAS VEGAS--BlackBerry is testing wearable computing devices internally and a top company executive said he would "love" to see the firm's signature BlackBerry Messenger service running on a wearable. However, the company is not announcing any new devices.
BlackBerry is teaming up with Verizon Wireless to give $150 in bill credits per device to enterprises that upgrade their legacy BlackBerry devices to newer BlackBerry 10 smartphones and the BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 platform.
BlackBerry has been saying quite a lot about its forthcoming square smartphone called the Passport, but has been more circumspect about the other smartphones in its pipeline. According to a leaked product roadmap posted by the BlackBerry blog N4BB, the company will use its 2014 smartphone launches to target four distinct market segments within its existing and potential customer base.
BlackBerry is aiming its forthcoming Passport smartphone squarely at the enterprise market, but has plans for enterprise-focused devices beyond that.
Apple's new enterprise mobility partnership with IBM could put more pressure on BlackBerry and Microsoft as well as Google and OEMs that use Google's Android software, according to industry analysts.
BlackBerry CEO John Chen said that Google's recently unveiled efforts to make its Android mobile platform more secure are essentially weak attempts to duplicate BlackBerry's existing security features for the enterprise market.
T-Mobile US is satisfied that the 2G EDGE data speeds customers get when roaming on its Simple Global plans without roaming fees are sufficient because less than 1 percent of customers on such plans have opted to pay for higher speeds so far, according to an executive from the carrier.