BlackBerry CEO: 200,000 Passports ordered since launch
The device is already sold out on its own website and Amazon.
Roger ChengFormer Executive Editor / Head of News
Roger Cheng (he/him/his) was the executive editor in charge of CNET News, managing everything from daily breaking news to in-depth investigative packages. Prior to this, he was on the telecommunications beat and wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal for nearly a decade and got his start writing and laying out pages at a local paper in Southern California. He's a devoted Trojan alum and thinks sleep is the perfect -- if unattainable -- hobby for a parent.
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SABEW Best in Business 2011 Award for Breaking News Coverage, Eddie Award in 2020 for 5G coverage, runner-up National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Award for culture analysis.
The unusually shaped smartphone garnered 200,000 orders since its launch on Wednesday, according to CEO John Chen. The smartphone sold out in six hours on its own website, and sold out in 10 hours on Amazon, he said. Before it sold out, the Passport was the top unlocked smartphone on the e-tailer's site.
The strong early start to the Passport is critical to company's efforts to turn itself around. It's the first flagship smartphone that BlackBerry has released this year, representative of the new tenure under Chen. The company is attempting to go after "power professionals" -- productivity-focused individuals who prefer a keyboard and focus on messaging and e-mails.
The Passport is indicative of Chen's strategy shift toward more people who work in large corporations and government agencies that value security and messaging capabilities. AT&T has confirmed that it would sell the Passport, but hasn't provided a price or date of availability. The smartphone is already available unlocked for $599 in the US.
One reason why the BlackBerry Passport sold out so quickly was because the company only provided a small initial order. Chen said a larger order would come next Wednesday.
Next up for BlackBerry on the device front is the Bold-like BlackBerry Classic.