BlackBerry snags AT&T for Passport deal

BlackBerry snags AT&T for Passport deal

08 JAN 2015

LIVE FROM CES 2015: AT&T is to offer a “newly redesigned” version of BlackBerry’s Passport smartphone, in a move that John Chen, the vendor’s CEO, described as a “big, big step forward”.

Acknowledging that device availability is still something of a challenge for BlackBerry, Chen said that “we are working hard at distribution beyond the North American market and the Western European market, and I’m very encouraged, but there is still a lot of work to do.”

The two companies have a long history: AT&T was the first US operator to launch a BlackBerry device in the US with the BlackBerry 950 in 1999; was the first with a GSM product in the shape of the BlackBerry 5810 and BlackBerry 5820 in 2002, and the exclusive partner for the BlackBerry Torch device in 2011.

And when it comes to why AT&T operator is getting a re-designed Passport, the BlackBerry chief said: “They would like their identity to be slightly different, so that it stands-out as an AT&T product”.

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Steve Costello

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