In a fresh bid to grab a pie of the premium smart phone market, BlackBerry today unveiled its most expensive handset Blackberry Passport, priced at Rs 49,990, which will be available across Indian market from October 10.
"Pre-booking has started for Passport at Amazon and BlackBerry exclusive stores from today. Customers pre-booking at Amazon.in would receive a gift card worth Rs 5,000. It will be be available across stores from October 10 for Rs 49,990," BlackBerry India Managing Director Sunil Lalvani said at the launch event.
BlackBerry Passport has 4.5 LCD touch screen and comes with a three row qwerty keypad which also has capacitative touch features embedded in it.
"The keypad can be used for typing as well as navigation by swiping fingers on it for functions like delete, moving predictive words function up and down etc," Lalvani said.
BlackBerry Passport comes with 3450 mAh non-removable battery which company said will support up to 14 hours of talktime in 2G network and video playback of up to 11 hours.
The square-shaped handset has 13 megapixel main camera and 2 megapixel camera. The internal storage capacity of the phone is 32 GB and supports 128 GB of external storage.
BlackBerry has targeted professionals who have heavy typing requirement through Passport. The phones total length is about 5-inch and width is about 3.5 inch.
Though BlackBerry Passport is completely different in terms of design, it may see tough competition from premium smartphones like iPhone 5S, Sony Xperia Z3, HTC M8 etc. Another tough competition for the phone could be Samsung Note 4, which is yet to be launched in India.
Before Passport, the company's most expensive smartphone was Blackberry Q10 launched for about Rs 45,000 in June last year. The handset is now available in the market at around Rs 19,000-- less than half its launch price.
The company had to reduce price of its handsets as there was a huge inventory pile up due to less of demand of BlackBerry phones sold at premium price.
Lalvani said the price of BlackBerry Passport is going to stay because of its high quality components and specifications.
"We launched Z3 in June and there is no price change till date. We are getting good response. We had two price revisions of Z10 over period of 18 months. Its not a secret.
We had to write down some inventory and we are now coming out of it. Passport is competitively and aggressively priced because of its specification," Lalvani said.
He said that Blackberry Passport stands out better compared to other flagship devices of company's competitors in terms of specifications.