With all the focus on Apple and Android, and Microsoft's Windows Phone making a spirited if unlikely attempt to break into the domination of the big two, you'd be forgiven that only a few years ago, there was another smartphone brand that was riding high, BlackBerry enjoyed huge popularity and market share.
How times have changed. The Canadian firm's fall from grace in the last couple of years has been dramatic, and recent figures from Kantar Worldpanel show the brand accounted for just 1.3 per cent of the UK market in July this year – down from almost 16 per cent at the start of 2012. Therefore, it's easy to write the firm off as yet another casualty of the always-evolving tech market.
But the firm isn't going down without a fight, and while some previous attempt to pump life back into the company, such as its much heralded BlackBerry 10 operating system, didn't work, it's latest attempt to break the mould might have a better chance – at least if early indications are anything to go by.
That's because the firm has claimed its new business-focused Passport device has already sold out on pre-orders alone, with buyers now having to wait to get their hands on the device. Chief executive of the firm John Chen said the device sold out in under six hours on its website, and in ten hours on Amazon.
Users in the UK can still order the Passport Sim-free for £537, while BlackBerry's website states orders are set to begin shipping again from October 6th.
Much of the focus of the BlackBerry Passport has been on its unusual square screen. While this may mean the handset isn't much good for watching your favourite films and TV shows on the move, it does let users see more characters of text on a single line, which could make it perfect for business activities such as checking emails and reviewing spreadsheets.
So far, reviews of the device have been mixed, with most agreeing that its weird/innovative (delete as appropriate) design gives the Passport a set of pros and cons unlike any other phone on the market.