The Porsche Design P'9981 smartphone from BlackBerry gold edition. Photo: AFP
Just 25 examples of the gold-plated, leather-bound P’9981 Gold smartphone will ever be created, and each one carries a solid gold plaque on its rear, engraved with its serial number and its all-important 2AA prefix code. This code forms part of the handset’s PIN and informs other BlackBerry users that they are communicating with a P’9981 owner.
The phone’s chassis is milled from stainless steel before being veneered in gold. Like previous Porsche-inspired BlackBerrys, the design is much more angular and minimalist in its appearance than a standard phone, although the gold aspect is far from minimalist (a black version of the same phone, also designed by Porsche, won a Red Dot Design Award).
Underneath the layers of gold and stainless steel is a BlackBerry Bold 9900 with a 1.2GHz processor and 8GB of RAM (expandable in multiples of 16GB via microSD slot), which together run BlackBerry's BB7 operating system. Making it, in tech terms, inferior to BlackBerry's current non-gold QWERTY keyboard flagship the Q10, which boasts a 3.1-inch HD touch screen, a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 2GB of RAM and comes with the latest, optimized version of BlackBerry’s operating system, BB10, preinstalled.
The Porsche handset will go on sale for £1,250 (about US$1,890) directly via the brand's website and at assorted Porsche Design boutiques around the world from June.