BlackBerry Porsche Design P'9981

Dublin Core


BlackBerry Porsche Design P'9981


hardware: smartphone


Historical Context:
In May 2011, Research in Motion (RIM, Waterloo, Ontario) announced its new Blackberry 9900 Bold smartphone that sported an elegant slim design, enhanced keyboard, high-resolution touch-screen display, and new BlackBerry 7 operating system. Favourable reviews and positive response from users around the world soon followed.

Half a year later (October), RIM unveiled yet another smartphone--the Blackberry Porsche Design P'9981--the result of collaboration between RIM and Porsche Design. From the technical specifications point of view, the P'9881 was the BlackBerry 9900 repackaged into a superbly designed and manufactured housing. Both smartphones used the same processor, memory, display, camera, OS and battery. What set these handhelds apart were the industrial design of the housing, target customers, and pricing.

The P'9981 was a special edition, luxurious smartphone sold to the business elite. Porsche Design came up with a unique and arresting design implemented using the finest materials available. "It fashioned out a smartphone capable of standing apart from its peers, much in the way cars of its parent company do."  wrote Vlad Savov in his 2012 review of the P'9981 smartphone. "The Porsche Design P'9981 smartphone from BlackBerry is instantly identified as a Porsche Design product." reads RIM press release from October 17, 2011. "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, executive PINs that help easily identify another P'9981 smartphone user."

The Porsche Design P'9981 introductory price was $2,300. A limited "gold" edition (only 25 smartphones were produced!!) offered the P'9981 device in a stainless-steel case finished with a 24-carat gold layer. The limited-edition number was etched on solid 24-carat gold plate attached as the camera cover on the backside of the smartphone.

The Porsche Design P'9981 was followed by the release of the Porsche Design P'9982 in 2013 and Porsche Design P'9983 in 2014. These new smartphones were premium makeovers of the BlackBerry Z10 and Q10 smartphones, respectively, aimed at RIM's elite customers.

Porsche Design P'9981's Specifications:
  • Chipset Qualcomm MSM8655 Snapdragon
  • CPU 1.2GHz
  • GPU Adreno 205
  • memory: 768MB RAM, 8GB built-in media storage expandable up to 32GB with a microSD card
  • display: multi-touch, 640 x 480 pixels, 16M colors
  • data inputs: QWERTY style keyboard, optical trackpad, navigation keys, touchscreen
  • camera: 5 megapixel, with flash
  • video: 720p HD
  • audio: loudspeaker, headset jack
  • sensors: accelerometer, magnetometer, and proximity sensor
  • ports: USB microUSB v2.0
  • SIM interface: Mini-SIM
  • networks: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz GSM/GPRS/EDGE networks, 2100/1900/850/800 MHz networks, or 2100/1700/900 MHz UMTS/HSPA networks
  • Wi-Fi: 802.11 b/g/n
  • Bluetooth: v2.1, A2DP, EDR
  • built-in support for GPS (autonomous, assisted, and simultaneous) and Near Field Communications (NFC)
  • battery:  lithium-ion, rechargeable
External Design:
  • housing: palm-held, stainless steel frame, hand-wrapped leather back cover
  • size: 11.5cm(L) x 11.3cm(W) x 6.7cm(H) x 1.13cm(D)
  • weight: 155g
Main Features:
  • messaging: SMS(threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Email, IM
  • browser: HTML
  • media player: support for a variety of media file formats
  • mobile hot spot
  • personal organizer, tasks, memos, contacts
  • voice enabled search
  • social networking and mobile purchasing: BlackBerry App World, Social Feeds, Facebook for BlackBerry smartphones, Twitter for BlackBerry smartphones
  • media server: wirelessly sharing media files from a smartphone with Universal Plug and Play compatible devices
  • GPS, Compass, Maps
  • calculator
  • notification: vibration, LED light; MP3, WAV ringtones
  • security: password protection, two-factor authentication, keyboard and screen lock
  • BlackBerry ID: to provide single sign-in identity across BlackBerry products, sites, services, and apps
  • customized options
  • operating system: BlackBerry v.7.0 and 7.1
  • BlackBerry Desktop Software v.6.1

The museum has a Porsche Design P'9981 with Porsche Design Smartphone P'9981 User Guide v 7.


Research in Motion (RIM)




donated by Abdulaziz Almowanes




world, 2011--




Research in Motion (RIM), “BlackBerry Porsche Design P'9981,” York University Computer Museum Canada, accessed July 19, 2024,

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