Along with all the mainstream BlackBerry models we saw RIM release in the second half of this year, there was one decidedly odd-looking handset that first popped up in a few mysterious pictures. It looked so unlike the styling of any existing BlackBerry, that we struggled to know what to make of it. Luckily, the story behind it came out soon enough, and the phone was officially revealed to the world in October as the Porsche Design P’9981. After taking some to let the phone grow on us, we began to see the appeal of what’s essentially a Bold 9900 with an eye-catching, unique design. It might not be for everyone, but we were warming to it. What we still didn’t know where the details of the P’9981’s launch plans, including its price. That information has now become available, and we’re in for a bit of sticker shock.
Anytime we learn about a regular smartphone given a makeover and some new badging courtesy of a luxury brand, we expect to see that hardware demand a premium price. Sometimes it’s not so bad, like how the LG Jil Sander phone goes for about $470 off-contract. Then there are models like the Nokia Oro, a C7 with a gilded facade that costs about $1,125. Considering that the Porsche Design P’9981 uses stainless steel instead of 18-karat gold, we expected to see its price land somewhere between those two models.
The UK will get its shot at the P’9981 when retailer Harrods starts carrying them, expected to begin this month. Off-contract, the BlackBerry will run interested buyers just shy of $2000. Suffice it to say, we just got a whole lot less excited about the phone’s release.