'It's hip to be square': BlackBerry unveils new smartphone design

Muscled out of the smartphone market by iPhone, Android and Samsung, BlackBerry has rolled the dice on its latest product and come up with a square phone. The Canadian firm has unveiled more details about the unusual device called the Passport, which it first previewed in June, including a 4.5-inch square HD screen. A post on the official BlackBerry blog said: “Many have thought that creativity around the design of smartphones was dead.”

Device companies have been emulating the same, entertainment-driven look for so long that there’s been a homogenisation of the visual cues in smartphone design.


The screen width fits 60 characters rather than the 40 seen on a rectangular 5-inch device. Under the heading “it’s hip to be square,” the post said the width is ideal for reading e-books, viewing documents and browsing the Web. The company said the device was aimed at professionals such as architects, writers and medical staff. Early last year, the company released BlackBerry 10, which failed to spark a turnaround in its fortunes.