With the holidays quickly approaching, it’s not uncommon to see some crazy sales pop up just about every day. On top of the Black Friday guide that I posted the other day, more sales offers have popped up, including a $199 Amazon Fire Phone - and that’s the off-contract price (and probably the price that it should have been sold at from the beginning, but maybe that’s just me). Motorola has advertised $140 off of their new Moto X, bringing the full price of the 16GB device down to a mere $359 (or $0.99 if you’re signing up with a 2-year contract). Even T-Mobile has teased that it will have a mysterious “massive” Cyber Monday sale.
But probably one of the most interesting sales has to come from BlackBerry, who is specifically targeting iPhone users, and challenging them to switch it up to a new BlackBerry Passport - and they’re not being cheap about it, either.
If you’re carrying an iPhone 4S or newer device, BlackBerry wants to pay you a good lump sum of money to help cover the cost of switching to a shiny new BlackBerry Passport device. Even the 3-year old iPhone 4S could get you a total of $240 towards a new Passport starting on December 1st, and that’s not too shabby of a deal. And, for comparison’s sake, here are the rest of the values for other iPhone generations:
So, you have to look at the term of “Up To”, meaning that the possible top dollar amount of initial trade-in is most likely going to be reserved for the highest amount of internal memory allotted, and also may depend on what carrier your iPhone is actually from. It’s also important to keep in mind here that the BlackBerry Passport is not yet available for Sprint or Verizon customers, so this really only applies to GSM network users (or people considering a switch) right now.
Are these values going to be the top dollar you get for your device? Probably not, but BlackBerry will take out a lot of the work for you, and if you’re actually interested in getting a Passport then the trade-in program is actually a pretty decent deal, for the most part.
The only question is how many iPhone users will actually be happy with the trade-up if they choose to switch?
Although the BlackBerry Passport has been, for the most part, praised among BlackBerry and non-BlackBerry users alike (you can check out Cam’s review of the BlackBerry Passport here) there’s no denying that you are, essentially, comparing apples to oranges (or BlackBerrys, whatever) when it comes to who and what the phone is designed for, not all will be impressed. By and large, BlackBerry prides itself in catering to business users who want a bit of personal use on the side.
The BlackBerry Passport comes with BlackBerry 10.3 already installed, which is a great update all around in terms of design and for the app ecosystem, which now includes Amazon’s App Store. You also now get BlackBerry Assistant, which is kind of like Siri, Google Now, or Cortana... with a little less oomph at this point.
The Passport’s biggest differentiator in the smartphone game is, most obviously, it’s unique design. Although the Passport still holds some of that traditional BlackBerry charm of using a physical QWERTY keyboard, the Passport itself is a bit more advanced by allowing that same physical keyboard to act as a virtual keyboard of sorts as well (see Cam’s demo of the Passport’s keyboard here for a more in-depth explanation). The Passport is also fairly large, which is good for accompanying the larger, 4.5-inch square display and the 3450 mAh battery. Not bad, not bad at all.
It’s clear that BlackBerry is still trying, and the Passport is probably its most successful debut within the past couple of years since the initial unveiling of BlackBerry 10. Is it comparable to the iPhone? In some ways, yes. Spec-wise? Yes. Design-wise? Definitely a competitive design. App-wise? Not really. Even with the addition of the Amazon App Store, it’s still nothing compared to the amount of support that iOS currently has, and for many that can be a real killer.
My advice when it comes to this intriguing promotion for iPhone users to switch to the Passport? I think it’s a good idea, but not for everybody. If apps aren’t absolutely everything to you and you’re completely bored with your iPhone, the Passport might be up your alley. If you’re a business user who likes to multitask and get things done quickly, BlackBerry 10’s gesture-based software design might be better suited for you. But if app support is an absolute necessity for you, or you have no intention on using your phone for business purposes, then the likelihood of you actually feeling like your iPhone-to-BlackBerry switch-up was a good trade goes way down.
Still, it’s not a bad deal to check out. Also, if you’re a non-iPhone user who wants to check out the Passport (and feeling a little left out), don’t forget about their Black Friday sale, which puts the Passport at a decent $499 price tag.