FCC Approval For AT&T Inc. (T) version of BlackBerry Ltd’s Passport

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Passport AT&T

Blackberry Passport Rounded Edges – Photo Credit Crackberry.com

AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) has received FCC approval for the custom version rounded version of the BlackBerry Passport device that will be an AT&T exclusive. Submission to the regulator for the approval of the redesigned BlackBerry Passport was made on January 7. The submission to FCC came after BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY)(TSE:BB) had disclosed at the 2015 CES in Las Vegas that the company was developing a custom Passport smartphone for the U.S. wireless giant AT&T.

It is currently unclear when BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) will start shipping the custom Passport devices to AT&T, but that is expected to happen soon following the clearance by the regulator.

Rounded-edge Passport

The redesigned Passport will feature rounded edges. AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) requested BlackBerry to make that adjustment for its customers. The round-edge Passport will be exclusive for AT&T subscribers. While announcing the request from AT&T about the redesigned Passport device, BlackBerry also sought to clear the air, saying that the customer did not require anything more modification beyond the rounded-edge.

A changing BlackBerry

However, the development highlighted the continuing influence of major carriers on smartphone manufacturers. Additionally, the agreement between the two companies revealed the extent that BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) is willing to go to sell its handsets.

BlackBerry currently has its major business focus on software and services, mostly targeting enterprises and governments. The company offers secure mobile communication, which is suitable for moving of confidential information. However, the company wants to maintain a hold in the smartphone market to help drive revenue in other segments.

Passport and Classic pricing

AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is expected to offer the Passport smartphone for $200 with a contract of two years. Customers will also be able to catch the device for $21.67” under the so-called “Next 24” plan. Without contract, the Passport costs $650.

AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) will also carry BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY)’s other new smartphone known as Classic, which is expected to go for $50 under a two-year contract. The device goes for $420 without any contract.

Neha Gupta

Neha Gupta has been in the financial space for over six years now. Gupta earned her MBA degree from Symbiosis Centre of Distance Learning in 2009 and her passion for finance led her to pursue Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) course. She has successfully completed Level II of her CFA. She is a veteran in article writing, which is depicted in her numerous pieces published on SeekingAlpha, Nextiphonenews, InsiderMonkey, MarketWatch, and Techinsider. Her crisp and eloquent writing finds its best place in Researchcows, where emphasis is given on developing rich content for various websites, products, business plans, trainings, and book writing.

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  • Sam Leeds

    Seriously bro, Blackberry doesn’t even make the phone anymore (Foxcom does, the same chinese company that makes apple and a number of other devices). Blackberry hardware business isn’t where it makes its money and nor does it share the risk. You’re right though, AT&T and other carriers have been calling the shots since the beginning which is sad but true. Who buys unlocked phones so they can hop from carrier to carrier…maybe under 5% of consumers I’d say. The rest are buying whatever the carriers are pushing and that’s why apple and samsung have crushed superior technologies like Blackberry and Sony. I call this the LCD phenomenon.

    • Barantos of ReCon

      The passport isn’t made by foxxconn. Research its a thing now!

    • theClue

      The minimum wage teenie boppers that work in the stores push the phone they themselves and their friends are using, not because it’s better, but because they don’t have a clue about Blackberry, most of their comments are about 2009 phones. The totally revamped from the ground up Blackberry 10 OS is mighty awesome, and runs circles around other operating systems, and the overwhelming majority that actually own and use the new phones know this, but those that don’t (who work in sales and won’t be pushing it) have no clue… and that is the problem. People need to see for themselves.

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