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June 19, 2014

New BlackBerry phone to launch in London, reveals BlackBerry boss

September announcement will see arrival of the BlackBerry Passport.

By Ben Sullivan

BlackBerry is set to release a new mobile device this September, with a the phone’s launch to be held in London.

Speaking on the firm’s quarterly financial results phonecall today, CEO John Chen let slip that the smartphone will be called Passport, and is the device previously referred to as Windermere, which will feature a QWERTY keyboard and a 4.5 inch screen.

Chen said that the Passport will be officially announced at a London event in September.

BlackBerry revealed that only 1.6 million handsets were sold, up from 1.3 million in the three months before. To put that into perspective, Apple managed to offload 43.7 million in Q2 2014, a combination of the iPhone 5C, 5S and 4.

BlackBerry adjusted growth margins are on the rise, however, from 43 to 48%. Its cash and investments balance rose to $3.1bn from $2.8bn.

Yesterday, BlackBerry announced it will be bringing over 200,000 Android apps to its BlackBerry 10.3 operating system.

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The apps will be imported from the Amazon Appstore, and BlackBerry users will finally be able to use apps such as Netflix, Pinterest, Candy Crush and Minecraft.

On a blog post, BlackBerry said: We’ve heard your appeals for access to more applications for your BlackBerry 10 device and we are delivering. We have announced a licensing agreement for the Amazon Appstore to bring more than 200,000 Android apps to you this fall when the BlackBerry 10.3 operating system launches."

The Canadian company said it will still continue to offer BlackBerry World, BlackBerry’s own app store.

"That’s two stores – with more apps – and greater choices," said BlackBerry.

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