John Chen reveals $599 price tag for Blackberry Passport

Blackberry has finally revealed the price tag to its much-hyped and oddly-shaped new smartphone, the Passport.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, the firm's CEO John Chen revealed that the handset will launch in the US this Wednesday for $599, contract free.

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Chen also confirmed that this figure is likely to vary from country to country, depending on sales tax and national tariffs.

The CEO claimed that the smartphone should really retail in the $700 region when compared with other devices, but the firm had opted for the lower figure in order to generate interest. Blackberry will be hoping that the Passport helps the firm to regain lost ground in the smartphone market.

For comparison purposes, Apple's new iPhone 6 is priced at $649 without contract, while Samsung's Galaxy S5 handset went on sale in the US for roughly $650 earlier this year.

During the interview, Chen also praised the Passport's wider screen, particularly suited to users who need to be productive.

"You really are seeing a more entire picture than seeing a sliver [of screen]," he said.

The Passport's square-shaped screen and high resolution enables users to view 60 characters per line, which is significantly more than the standard, rectangular smartphones offered by its competitors.

It was also confirmed that the Passport will be released in various Asian countries within a few weeks, as the firm looks to target emerging markets.

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Blackberry's latest handset will launch simultaneously in Toronto, London and Dubai this Wednesday, although Chen did not revealed UK price details.