A Passport To Success For BlackBerry?

BlackBerry has sent out invites to three simultaneous events to be held in London, Toronto and Dubai on September 24 where it is expected to unveil the Passport, potentially its most innovative smartphone in the best part of a decade.

What makes it special is that BlackBerry has decided that the rectangular screen that is a standard feature on essentially all smartphones made by everyone from Apple to Samsung and beyond is actually a bad idea. It limits productivity and forces you to keep rotating a handset from portrait to landscape in order to accommodate different content

According to BlackBerry, academic research shows that the optimal number of characters on a line in a book is 66 characters. Because rectangular smartphones lack screen width, they can only manage 40 characters.

However, because the Passport has a perfectly square 4.5-inch high definition display, it can display 60 characters per line, making it great not just for reading e-books but for using spreadsheets and Instagram, and all without having to rotate the handset in order to fit elements on the screen.

As well as a square screen, the Passport has a physical keyboard so that the user’s fingers don’t obscure the display. But as well as being good for typing emails and messages, the keyboard is touch-sensitive, meaning that it can respond to swipes and taps too. So it becomes like a trackpad on a notebook allowing you to navigate around the screen without touching it.

Although the phone isn’t going to be officially revealed until the special September event, BlackBerry has been very open about the device and has been publishing new snippets of information about its capabilities over the past two months.

So as well as screen size and resolution, we know it is going to have a best-in-class battery life and offer sufficient security for use in finance and healthcare. In fact, all that still isn’t clear about the device is when exactly it will be in the shops and how much it will cost. Expect that to be revealed, along with the device, on September 24.

As such September is going to be a very busy month for premium smartphone launches. Sony, Samsung, Motorola and, of course, Apple will all be announcing new flagship handsets in the coming days.

DISCLOSURE : BBRY is the largest position in Jack A. Bass Managed Accounts

Shares of iPhone maker Apple fall after rival Samsung unveils new phones

by Irene Kuan

NEW YORK – Apple shares are getting bit by a rival.

The iPhone maker’s stock fell more than 3 per cent Wednesday after Samsung unveiled two new smartphones at a trade show in Berlin.

Samsung announced the Galaxy Note Edge phone, which has a side display for quicker access to Twitter, the flashlight, news and other apps. It also showed off a new Galaxy Note 4 phone and a virtual-reality headset for the phone called Gear VR to watch concerts or play games.

The Samsung unveiling comes less than a week before Apple is expected to reveal its new products, next Tuesday in Cuppertino, California. A larger iPhone, and possibly a computerized watch, are expected.

Apple’s stock drop comes a day after its shares hit an all-time high of $103.74. That same day, Apple said that the theft of private photos from celebrities was not because of a security breach of its iCloud system. Instead, hackers took user names and passwords for the accounts, Apple said Tuesday.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

Shares of Apple Inc. fell $3.55 to $99.75 in afternoon trading, erasing more than $20 billion of its market value. The stock is still up more than 24 per cent so far this year



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