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 ten
ure 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.