RIM plans BlackBerry 10 prototype handout in May
Developers attending BlackBerry 10 Jam conference to get free smartphones
Published: 27 March, 2012
With most of the smartphone-related headlines being taken up by its three main competitors, Apple, Android and Microsoft, RIM hasn't had much to celebrate lately. There are signs that this may change though as the company is said to be preparing a prototype BlackBerry to hand out to developers in May at its BlackBerry 10 Jam conference.
No doubt the company's fingers are crossed as it recently learnt that it's been knocked out of the smartphone top spot in its native Canada by the iPhone. That's not to mention it has been forced to drop plans to call the new OS BBX rather than BlackBerry OS 10.
Any new devices that have been seen from RIM in recent months have added nothing new to the range and it looks like all its hopes are pinned on the new OS and a competitive handset to revolutionise the brand.
With the iPhone 5 on the horizon, a steady stream of desirable Android handsets from the high-end to the low-end and an increasing number of promising Windows Phones RIM has a lot to contend with. BlackBerry's App World, which it was said in February had 60,000 apps, has been surpassed in numbers by the Windows Phone Marketplace which recently reached the 70,000 app milestone.
Sources at BGR claimed that the prototype device won't be running BlackBerry 10 but "a modified version of the PlayBook OS which will help developers design their apps for the BlackBerry 10 smartphone form factor." It's also said that the prototypes won't be of a smartphone for future release but instead a reference model to allow developers to test applications.
BlackBerry Jam takes place from May 1 - 3 and up to 2000 developers are expected to be able to get their hands on the prototype.
It's believed that the first handset to run the OS is going to be available in Q3 this year and is rumoured to be the BlackBerry London. Rumours so far indicate a radical departure from the brand's typical form factor with some equally surprising high-end specs.