An interview with Todd Wood, Head of Design at BlackBerry, on the Porsche Design P’9981

We had a chance to sit down today with Todd Wood, Senior Vice President of Design at RIM, and talk about the newly-launched Porsche Design P’9981. This is not your typical BlackBerry: at $1,900 it’s nearly triple the price of the Bold 9900, and it’s sold exclusively at the Porsche Design Store in Yorkville, Toronto.

But more than that, it was a collaboration between the two companies. We were impressed to discover that Porsche Design approached RIM, not the other way around, and the process stemmed from a mutual respect for each other’s brands. Many Porsche executives consider the BlackBerry to be a status symbol and wanted to ensure that they had a premium product to offer customers who wanted the same design principles in a phone as they do in a watch, sunglasses, shoes or clothes.

The device is exceptionally well-made, though the design may be deemed a little extreme for some. It’s also running BlackBerry 7.1 and will likely not be upgraded to BlackBerry 10 (though we can hope).

Check after the break for an interview with Todd, and some more photos of the device.