The Porsche Design BlackBerry P'9981 goes on sale in China

By James Richardson on 1 Dec 2012 07:50 pm EST

For those of you in China that fancy a slice of luxury BlackBerry you ail be pleased to know that the Porsche Design BlackBerry P'9981 is now available to buy. The rather expensive device may not be for everyone, but if you can afford it and want to stand out from the crowd you can pick up the P'9981 from Porsche Design stores as well as authorised BlackBerry retailers.

Adapted for Chinese customers, the new Porsche Design P'9981 comes with support for simplified Chinese and common Chinese input methods.

With BlackBerry 10 so close now I must be honest and say that you may be better off saving your money for that. However, if you can afford the P'9981 you probably have enough money to get both. The luxury device certainly attracts attention from other BlackBerry users - I know from first hand experience. 

You can catch the full press release below:

Stuttgart, Germany and Beijing, China. Porsche Design and Research In Motion (NASDAQ: RIMM; TSX: RIM) today launched the elite Porsche Design P'9981 smartphone from BlackBerry® in China. The luxurious new smartphone will be available from Porsche Design stores as well as BlackBerry authorized retailers in December.

Instantly identifiable as a Porsche Design product, the unique Porsche Design P'9981 smartphone from BlackBerry is made of exclusive materials that include a forged stainless steel frame, hand-wrapped leather back cover, sculpted QWERTY keyboard, and a crystal clear touch display. This customized Porsche Design P'9981 comes with an exclusive Porsche Design UI. It also includes premium, exclusive PINs that help easily identify another P'9981 smartphone customer.

Adapted for Chinese customers, the new Porsche Design P'9981 comes with support for simplified Chinese and common Chinese input methods. Local premium after-sales service will also be offered to customers who purchase the smartphone through authorized retailers in China.

"Since 1972 Porsche Design has presented milestone products with iconic style, and the P'9981 smartphone from BlackBerry will be our next landmark," said Dr. Juergen Gessler, CEO Porsche Design Group. "The pure and distinctive design, coupled with authentic materials and an emphasis on the manufacturing process, perfectly match our philosophy and complement the Porsche Design product assortment."

"As one of the world's largest smartphone markets, we are committed to bringing our finest smartphone products to China," said Urpo Karjalainen, Regional Managing Director, Asia Pacific at Research In Motion. "The new Porsche Design P'9981 from BlackBerry offers the timeless style of Porsche Design and the unmatched mobile experience provided by BlackBerry, and with the continuously increasing demand for luxury items and the growing popularity for smartphones in China, we believe that the new smartphone will be very desirable for customers."

Powerful hardware and software
The Porsche Design P'9981 is built on a performance driven platform that features a 1.2 GHz processor, HD video recording, 24-bit high resolution graphics, and advanced sensors enabling new augmented reality applications. It comes with 8GB of on-board memory, expandable up to 40GB with a micro SD card.

The new Porsche Design P'9981 is preloaded with the latest BlackBerry® 7.1 OS, delivering best-in-class voice, email, messaging and social functionalities. It includes a next generation BlackBerry® browser with a fast, fluid web browsing experience that is among the best in the industry. With built-in support for NFC (Near Field Communications), the Porsche Design P'9981 enables many new and exciting capabilities. It also features Liquid GraphicsTM technology, which delivers a highly responsive touch experience with incredibly fast and smooth graphics.

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Reader comments

The Porsche Design BlackBerry P'9981 goes on sale in China


Wow on the pricetag
RMB 28,888 = USD $4,600

Expecting that kind of money will buy at least 4 BB10s

I love Blackberry, I love Porsche, but this phone doesn't do either of them any good. Its just butt ugly.

Porsche design is nothing to do with the car company except that the founders were related, but to be fair the heater knob on a 911 costs over $800 in the UK.
But yes, I agree, personally I think all of Porsche Design's ideas are intended to appeal to people with lots of cash and no real taste. At the end of the day it is an expensive cover on a two year old phone design.

It's only one year+ old ;)

Ok ok 1 1/4 up to 1 2/5 years.

OK, single core cpu is so 2010.

as in some post was mentioned: it is butt ugly.

The price is probably so high because there a toll and other fees incl., isn't it?

At least I remember reading about high tolls etc. in China.

It is a two year old design.
I do not mind RIM's designs not being leading edge technically, just like I never buy a new model of car till it has been out for at least a year for the platform to shake down. But as you say, a single core CPU is 2010-era.

To m that main design fault is the curved bottom and the flat top. This is also a design problem with the Torch 9810.

You see the same problem with some expensive watch designs. Confusing messes of different design language all over the face, while a Rolex Oyster or an Omega Seamaster is close to perfect, and timeless.

I do not understand why RIM launches this phone in China. I believe the sales number will be less than the sales number of Porsche. Very few people know Blackberry in China. Will you spend a lot of money to buy a unknown brand?

FYI, BBM and such things are not blocked in China. I've been there before for several times. :)

I'm pretty sure most people here are familiar with the so-called "Great Firewall of China" - just because you say such things are not blocked, does not make it so...

Whilst I can't comment on BlackBerry Messenger, Google and all of its services are either heavily censored or (in most cases) blocked completely (Hong Kong is the exception)!

Okay okay, I should be more specific... "Technically" Google's services aren't blocked or censored - Google famously moved all of their servers to Hong Kong to utilize a legal loophole and get around this requirement - but it is illegal for a resident of China to access such services...

It's a moot point anyway, because the "Great Firewall of China" is something discussed frequently in the media and community - it is also known to most people, including many that aren't computer literate.

Why would BBM need to be blocked? Is Skype blocked in China? Are Gmail and Hotmail blocked? All are encrypted similarly.

Never liked the Porsche Design and it is just simply ugly. But I do like the form factor of it and the straight keyboard, just not the silver appearance and the Blackberry OS theme.

Anyone who buys one now is just dumb. It's pretty much worthless and will never have BB10. Who wants a Datsun when the Ferrari is out in a few months..

The overall design of the phone is out right ugly. We've seen better concept drawing on Crackberry.

Whilst it's not the most spectacular smartphone I've ever seen, the design is not as bad as some people make out on here... Reading some of the comments, you'd think it was both the ugliest BlackBerry and the ugliest phone ever designed!

The BlackBerry P'9981 Porsche Design isn't that expensive - just AU$1,779 from MobiCity (whom ships internationally by the way)... Still more than I'm prepared to pay for a smartphone, but some of us will remember paying that for a feature phone (aka. "dumbphone") a couple of years back!

If BlackBerry 10 wasn't on the verge of release however, I'd probably consider buying a BlackBerry P'9981 Porsche Design...

RIM is still doing it. An expensive and outdated phone beeing sold as novelty. To add insult to injury BB10 is due in a month. So what in the world is RIM thinking?? I mean they still want to be in business next year right? Selling outdated hardware is not what you can call customer care. Sorry for all those products not sold, and still in the warehouse, but hey in order to succeed drastic measure should be taken, and stop selling outdated phones is the first one they should be considering. Geez.

Selling outdated hardware is called "business decision". Ask just about every single guy in hardware world.

and nobody noticed that they misspelled "design" on the slide!!! kinda ironic for such a high quality and expensive device!!! Cheers!