BlackBerry Porsche Design P9982: A $2,350 Version of an Unsuccessful Phone

When times are tough, why not release a $2,350 phone?

ByJoanna Stern
November 19, 2013, 12:24 PM
PHOTO: BlackBerry and Porsche Design have teamed up to make a $2,350 phone.
BlackBerry and Porsche Design have teamed up to make a $2,350 phone.

Nov. 19, 2013 — -- When you're having a hard time selling your latest phones for even just $150 a pop, the best answer is to create a higher-end version that costs north of $2,000. Okay, maybe that doesn't sound like the best answer, but that hasn't stopped BlackBerry from announcing its latest BlackBerry $2,350 P’9982 with Porsche Design.

Like some of the previous Porsche Design BlackBerry handsets, the P’9982 is just a rebadged version of a current phone. In this case, the companies have taken the BlackBerry Z10, which was released in May, and redesigned it with "high-quality materials." The back of the phone is clad in genuine leather and the phone has stainless steel accents. It will be available starting on Nov. 21 through the Porsche Design online store and exclusively at Harrods in London.

The hardware might be stellar, but that wasn't the biggest complaints about the new BlackBerrys. Instead, reviewers, present company included, knocked the BlackBerry 10 software for not being as robust as Google's Android or Apple's iOS operating systems. And that's ultimately what has been the root cause of the company's recent struggles.

388 shares of BBRY or $2,300 for a BlackBerry Z10?

In September the company reported a $1 billion loss and announced plans to slash jobs by 40 percent. Earlier this month, after reports that it might be purchased or go private, the company announced that it would remain public and receive a $1 billion investment from Fairfax Financial Holdings. With BlackBerry's stock at $6.09 it would take nearly 388 shares to equal one P’9982.

The new P’9982 runs BlackBerry 10.2 and has some added features, including a special Blackberry PIN. The special series of numbers, which are used to add other BlackBerry users as contacts, will only be "recognizable in the exclusive world of Porsche Design smartphone owners," the company says.

Of course, given that this phone costs $2,350 and BlackBerry is already having trouble selling the $150 version of the phone, that exclusive world is likely to be incredibly small.

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