BlackBerry 10 prototype revealed
Smartphone maker Research in Motion (RIM) has released prototypes of its latest smartphone and operating system in a bid to kick-start app development.
Thousands of BlackBerry 10 Dev Alphas, which run the new BlackBerry 10 OS, are being handed out to third-party developers who attend the BlackBerry 10 Jam conference in Orlando, Florida. In a post on the Inside BlackBerry Developer's Blog, RIM explains that the devices are intended to help developers test their apps for interface, usability and ergonomic issues.
BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha features
Unusually for a RIM smartphone, the Blackberry 10 Dev Alpha has no keyboard, bringing it more into line with iPhones and many Android devices. However, the prototype does boast several interesting features, including:
- 4.2-inch screen with a 1280 x 768 resolution
- Micro USB
- Micro HDMI port
- Bluetooth and Wi-Fi radios
- Micro SIM
RIM is keen to point out that this prototype is not the finished article, and that BlackBerry 10 smartphones and the BlackBerry 10 operating system will continue to change ahead of a general release. Nevertheless, the fact that the company is offering sneak previews to app developers is being seen as a significant step, since third-party apps have long been seen as a key selling point for iPhones and Android devices.
Nick Dillon, an analyst at technology analysts Ovum, told the BBC: "BlackBerry 10 has been a long time coming. It is a smart move to release a preview but the key will be getting it out as soon as possible. These days it isn't enough to have a good product. There needs to be a whole ecosystem around that product."
Adrian Mursec, senior developer at theEword, said: "It's a positive step for Research In Motion to offer BlackBerry 10 prototypes to developers, since these people can make or break BlackBerry's fortunes. However, the company has a long way to go before it can boast the same variety and quality of apps as Apple and Android."