RIM offers prototype BlackBerry phone to developers

RIM is really starting to gear up to what will effectively be a brand relaunch, the arrival of BlackBerry 10. February is said to be the shelf date, after a launch event on 30 January. If the reports are correct, two handsets will be launched – although some people will have them well in advance.

At least, they will have variations of the finished models. Details of the L-Series touch-screen have already been leaked, with the handset not likely to be too far from the developer phone already passed around by RIM. On top of that, the touch-screen interface has also been used to show off the BlackBerry 10 OS.

The N-Series, which is the more traditional QWERTY-clad BlackBerry, has been rather less public. But that should change soon. RIM used the BlackBerry Jam Asia event to announce a new prototype BB10 phone sounding suspiciously similar to the N-Series. It's been offered to developers for app development ahead of the big launch.

1,500 are being made, given out via a merit system, with RIM awarding points based on apps already produced for the BlackBerry platform. Which means you and I are likely to be well out of the running. On top of that, when final production phones are ready, you can swap the prototype for the finished items, presumably ahead of the sales date.

Good news for developers, but perhaps good news for us too. Leaks are likely to follow, with someone almost certain to snap the prototype phone and its functionality in the coming weeks. That should give us a fair idea of just how the 2013 BlackBerry QWERTY will be impressing potential buyers - and whether we should be holding off on an upgrade for one.

Source: Neowin

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