We're still not totally convinced by BlackBerry's justification for a square screen

BlackBerry really left us all scratching our heads when it revealed the upcoming 4.5” Passport smartphone with its stubby proportions and square display. Although packing in a relatively dense screen with a 1440x1440 resolution, the Passport flies in the face of conventional wisdom considering that 99.9% of smartphones on the market have a rectangular display.
BlackBerry has posted a new blog that tries to explain its reasoning behind going with a square display, and we’re not exactly sold on the merits.
BlackBerry’s Matt Young claims that the overwhelming adoption of rectangular displays has resulted in “limiting innovations” in the smartphone space and that the Passport “[opens] new doors of opportunity.” Young goes on to say that despite its unconventional shape, the Passport offers up the same viewing space as a traditional 5” smartphone.

He goes on to claim:
The optimal number of characters on a line in a book is 66 characters (current rectangular smartphones show approx. 40 characters and BlackBerry will show 60 characters). BlackBerry Passport offers its size and aspect ratio to accommodate these characters, making it the ideal device for reading e-books, viewing documents and browsing the web…
Consider how IMAX screens start with a more traditional 16:9 aspect ratio projection for conventional movie trailers and then expand to their true dimensions (and the audience goes, “ooh”). The Passport is like the IMAX of productivity, and you don’t have to sacrifice screen real estate, vertically or horizontally.
Given the increasingly media-centric focus of today’s smartphones, it’s hard to grasp the wisdom in BlackBerry heading this direction or how the move will bolster its already bleak outlook. However, the company says that it’s aiming the Passport squarely at business professionals and claims that everyone from architects to mortgage brokers to healthcare workers will benefit from the unique capabilities of the Passport (oh yeah, we almost forgot about that QWERTY keyboard).

Source: BlackBerry

"There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

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