RIM unveils the Porsche Design BlackBerry P9981 in Dubai

BlackBerry P'9981
By Adam Zeis on 27 Oct 2011 08:30 am EDT

All those images we saw over the last few weeks of the rumored BlackBerry Knight have turned out to be more than rumors after all. As we suspected of the RIM event in Dubai, the new Porsche Design BlackBerry P'9981 has been unveiled. The device is sporting a radical new look that breaks apart from the standard BlackBerry design we're used to. With a stainless steel front, leather back and 1.2GHz processor, the P9981 is a new breed and definitely an eye catcher. The operating system is built on the new BlackBerry 7 OS, however it features custom Porsche Design icons as well as the Porsche font all around. The P'9981 also features an exclusive PIN that will start with 2AA which is pretty awesome. The device is said to be landing in Porsche Design stores before the end of the year and is rumored to retail for $2,000. Hopefully we'll be able to get our hands on one soon and get some more info, so definitely stay tuned! See more at the link below and keep reading for the full press release. 

Check out more on the BlackBerry P'9981

Introducing the Porsche Design P'9981 Smartphone from BlackBerry Engineered

Luxury Meets High-Powered Performance

STUTTGART, GERMANY and WATERLOO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 27, 2011) - Editors Note: There are three photos accompanying this press release. Today, Porsche Design and Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM)(TSX:RIM) announced the elite new Porsche Design P'9981 smartphone from BlackBerry®. Designed by Porsche Design, in collaboration with RIM, the luxury brand's first smartphone delivers engineered luxury and performance.

The Porsche Design P'9981 smartphone from BlackBerry is instantly identifiable as a Porsche Design product. The exclusive material choices for this unique smartphone include a forged stainless steel frame, hand-wrapped leather back cover, sculpted QWERTY keyboard, and crystal clear touch display. This customized Porsche Design P'9981 comes with an exclusive Porsche Design UI and a bespoke Wikitude World Browser augmented reality app experience. It also includes premium, exclusive PINs that help easily identify another P'9981 smartphone user.

"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."

"This collaboration stems from a shared belief that form equals function," said Todd Wood, SVP for Industrial Design, Research In Motion. "The Porsche Design P'9981 is a truly modern luxury smartphone, where the timeless style of Porsche Design meets the unmatched mobile experience provided by BlackBerry."

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.

BlackBerry® 7, the operating system for the new Porsche Design P'9981, includes a next generation BlackBerry® browser with a fast, fluid web browsing experience that is among the best in the industry. It also features Liquid Graphics™ technology, which delivers a highly responsive touch experience with incredibly fast and smooth graphics.

The Porsche Design P'9981 includes built-in support for NFC (Near Field Communications), which will enable many new and exciting capabilities. The Porsche Design P'9981 smartphone from BlackBerry will be available from Porsche Design stores later this year.

For more information please visit www.BlackBerry.com/ae/P9981smartphone or www.BlackBerry.com/sa/P9981smartphone

Adam Zeis Adam Zeis "Mobile Nations Content Strategist" 3740 (articles) 2892 (forum posts)

Reader comments

RIM unveils the Porsche Design BlackBerry P9981 in Dubai


Looks good that; wouldn't mind one for myself at all. Not everyone's cup of tea but then not for the first time, everyone is wrong.

$2000 for a phone that doesn't even support themes!!!!

not likely LOL

come on RIM its a phone NOT a Car!!!

how many do they really expect to sell at that price WOW

Do you really think the people forking out $2k for a phone give a toss about themes??

And come one, it's clearly not intended for mass consumption. It's a talking point, and judging by these threads, it's succeeding rather nicely :)

Open your mind, some people are loaded, don't let it offend you so much!

You know RIM devices of late have tended to look boringly identical. This is a design kick up the backside equivalent to that Chris Bangle gave BMW when the design team stagnanted. Thumbs up! If you think I'm wrong look at the shop crackberry advert beside this page.7 similar devices.

Except the Panamera and Cayenne have gone on to be Porche's biggest sellers. Doubt this will do the same for RIM

THIS will be my next BB for sure. Can't wait! Its outside the comfort zone with the style but that's what RIM needs.

You mean you are willing to pay $2000.00 for it? That's the going price right now. If you are...it is all yours!

I like it, and would get it if it was for a reasonable price. But at $2000.00, no thanks.

Sure thing I'd pay for it. Some people might balk at it because theyd have to ask their parents for a loan but for those who used to enjoy the exclusivity of being a Blackberry user, this would be great.

If you can afford it great...if not and your parents wont let you, just stick with the models you have.

Not everyone on this site lives in the basement of their parents house. :)

Considering there's evidently a number of kids running around Vancouver with Ferraris, Lambos, Astons, and Nissan GT-Rs that their parents bought for them, I'm sure RIM will sell a fair number just in the lower mainland of British Columbia.

That to me is the most exclusive blackberry yet. Its classy, slick and very different. I somehow predicted that they'd change the Processing sign to Porsche Design and now it looks great. Cant wait for the release.

The 981 is a reference to the 2012 Boxster.

Porsche makes nice looking cars. Why do they design a phone that looks like garbage? Would you buy a vehicle from them that looked like this?

That is one ugly looking phone. I honestly would be embarrassed to be seen with one in my hands.

Also: why is there such a huge gap at the top of the screen? yuck.

I guess this is for the folks who love Ed Hardy.

The keyboard looks terrible for typing with thos "Z" shaped keys. I can't imagine that keyboard is gonna stay true to BlackBerry's ease of typing.

It looks ugly..but it would be kind of cool to be one of the few to have something different.

Yeah, +1 on that -- this was a waste of time by RIM that RIM doesn't have. Particularly since they've already been wasting time on the PlayBook.

I really like that it is stainless. I wish they'd go all in on the stainless as a rule and not just use it for the bezel as with the 9900/9930. I also would much prefer that back to the battery door on my 9930. Dislike the 9900/9930 battery door a lot.

The hate is on!! I bet this phone is sexy up close, wile not for most at the price.... thats the point. good job..

For some weird reason, I like it. Maybe if I had 1 in my hands I wouldn't, but part of me want this phone

Ah yes Dubai, where they have more money than sense. Releasing it there, in the tallest building in the world where the top floors are unusable because you can't pump water for fire suppression because its to high, was perfect!

If I lived in Dubai, I could buy a couple of them on my tax savings alone! one to frame, one to play with ;)

Stainless Steel and Leather is GREAT. Porsche design is usually GREAT. But i have to be honest, that i don't like this model at all. Love it that RIM is putting effort in trying though. But no thanks on this one.

Wow. Does it come with a supply of Aleve? Just looking at that flat keyboard makes my finger joints ache.

Kind of reminds me of that 25th Anniversay Mac thing.

Does this $2000 phone share the same $50 featurephone-grade camera that the 9900 comes with?

And I say this as someone who really likes his 9900 otherwise. That camera is barely tolerable in a flagship smartphone, let alone here.

love it, the mockups here don't do it justice, it looks amazing in the videos... sleek retro modernism mmm.

Shame it's 2Gs though... you really would expect a decent cam upgrade for that! But I guess if you can afford to splurge 2k on a phone, you probably already have a pretty decent cam tucked away in an underground gadget cave... probably wrapped in the finest Siamese cat leather.

He's talking about the price! Not the radio frequency its compaitble with, duh its going to be atleast a 3G phone. In this case "2Gs" equals $2,000

That's what I saw

High speed train design, running on steam locomotive track.

Nothing mentioned in BB site literature either. you would think if it ran 4G or LTE they'd be yelling it from the rooftops.

Just another missed opportunity

That's what I saw

High speed train design, running on steam locomotive track.

Nothing mentioned in BB site literature either. you would think if it ran 4G or LTE they'd be yelling it from the rooftops.

Just another missed opportunity

I don't think RIM wasted any time on this and just licensed Porsche Design to use Blackberry internals. Pretty sure Porsche Design handled the manufacturing of this.

Ugly phone ! (Like the phone version of a Porsche Boxster) But its too cheap at $2000 it should cost more. !

Exclusivity is their angle....plus there is one born every minute in the jet set.

You can't beat 9900's for looks though.

I don't think people are understanding the point of this phone being released... Its $2000, it looks weird, and will probably be very limited in production. AKA, exactly what a high end porsche is. Have you seen the GT3's with crazy (factory!) Paint jobs? The bright orange wheels? The phone is supposed to create media attention around RIM, get people interested again. Has HTC or Apple done anything like this? RIM didn't release this phone to make profits on this actual product. They released it to attempt to improve the brand and their image. Now whether or not it will help is probably up for debate.

this is not improving image, this is going back to 2003... check out Samsung Calculator Phone. I used to have one and it's better looking than this Blackberry

I didn't say it would work, I'm just saying that I think that's RIM's goal with this phone. I actually kind of like the design, but I could see why many people wouldn't want to buy it (regardless of price).

2000$? UmmmmMm...does it make breakfast? Can it drive me to work? Will it watch my kids if I need a babysitter? My phone cost more then yours! My house is bigger then yours! That's all this is. I'm happy for all the Saudi royal princes that they now have a phone to match ther cars but as a regular boring working man I could care less. Got any specialty blackberrys for a working man? Maybe I'd have a qnx if rim was not wasting their time with this.

For everyone who thinks this phone is ugly: "When the fox could not reach the grapes, he said the grapes were sour"

For everyone who is shocked at the price: "Well, its not for you. Its for people who don't have a problem paying for it. Who want something different, exclusive and different from what all you nerds carry around"

For all those blaming RIM: "Well, Don't. This is a Porche Design product which they want to market to the elite. That again, need the reliability and security of BlackBerry all while turning heads"

Why is everyone so ignorant these days?

Wait so let me get this straight...this special porche designed bold 9930 uses a custom THEME? But, but, but i thought "liquid graphics broke the ability for custom themes" RIM? Hmmm..

ill tell you why...
RiM wants to prevent people from installing themes on the new devices to assure that they operate better.
Notice how much smoother & quicker your device is when you install the STOCK THEME compared to running ANY CUSTOMIZED THEME...
People blame the lagging on their BlackBerry that is "slow".
No themes for new OS7 is just 1 way that RiM can make the devices work more proper
"Liquid graphics broke theme engine" = BS

Wow! The ignorant comments about people in Dubai! "More money than sense"??? You just insulted an entire nation. Now the Porsche design, its not for everyone, just like Porsche cars aren't! I doubt I'll see one of these phones anytime soon and I live dead centre in that "more money than sense" area that you speak of so disparagingly.

The more videos and pictures I see for this phone, the more it appears to grow on me.

If anything, it is unique and different.

For better or worse, this will turn more heads and start more conversations then most other BlackBerry phones.

That being said, its slightly (read: way) over my budget, so I'll happily stick with my 9900.

looks like that phone was made by texas instruments. hold your breath for a bit and in 6 months you'll find a couple of used ones on ebay for a couple of hundred dollars

Looks awesome. Very strong design features that some may not like, and a price many will not pay. But this looks top drawer all the way. You will see many of them soon on the celeb circuit, and the fans will follow. Love my Torch 9850 full touch or I might buy one.
Read somewhere it will be upgradeable to BBX?

What? Still no lighted USB port on Porche BlackBerry, for (much) easier plugging in your micro-USB plug into your BlackBerry in semi-darkness (hotel, when your spouse is asleep, etc.)?

only $2000ish? I was hoping itll be around $5000-6000 to compete with tag heuer link phones. i guess theyre aiming for wider appeal

Excellent design! Looks like a piece of artwork! This is how BB's should look & not just the Porsche Design version. The iPhone is more artistic looking than the average BB but this one beats it!

At first I didn't like it, but now, I gotta admit, it's got a bit of appeal to it, personally.
On the other hand, I ain't NEVER gonna spend $2000 on a Blackberry modeled by a luxury car company that doesn't come with the luxury car (or a die-cast model of a luxury car at the very least)

Why should I be the one to win your Porsche Designed BlackBerry P9981? Well, the reasons are many, so let me be brief:
1) I moved away from a blackberry to a droid based phone in October of 2011 and have regretted it ever since. I can't even tell you how much I want back into the world of blackberry and full keyboards. Of course I'm stuck with my droid for another year before I can upgrade, so getting this from you would be fantastic since I'd be able to then shove my useless droid in a drawer and return to happy smart-phoning.
2) My droid can't survive even a day without a need for a serious charge - even if I'm barely using it. My blackberry used to last me all day and them some. I was in NY recently and it was ridiculous: I had to carry my charger with me everywhere and I was always ALWAYS looking for an outlet to steal a couple minutes of charge.
3)j I'm a huge fan of 'design', especially automobile design, and this phone is just simply beautiful, like it's 4 wheeled relatives, the cayman, the 911, etc.
4) I promise I'll take good care of it and send letters and pictures back home occasionally to keep you updated on your baby's growth and progress.