updated 08:50 pm EDT, Wed April 25, 2012
First models will be all-touchscreen
The first BlackBerry 10 phones are now expected to be announced in mid-August with a planned release date in mid-October, according to a source quoted as "reliable" by enthusiast site N4BB. The prediction falls in line with reports from Research In Motion (RIM) itself that the first BlackBerry 10 devices would ship in the "later half" of this year. Some developers attending BlackBerry Jam early next month in Orlando are expected to receive "reference" phones for testing that do not reflect the true design.
A BlackBerry 10 device with a physical keyboard, long a trademark of the still-widely-used smartphones, won't appear until early 2013, according to the same report. The first devices will be touchscreen-only and timed to catch the beginning of the holiday buying season. Previous reports have said that RIM intends to launch an aggressive marketing campaign around the first BB10 devices in an effort to recapture public interest in a market now dominated by Apple and Samsung.
The first device, which has gone by the model name "London" has had its design and OS leaked by enthusiast sites but neither are expected to yet be final. The design of BlackBerry 10 draws heavily from the Playbook 2 tablet, but with distinct borrowing from both Windows Phone and Android. Also indicated through leaks are built-in video calling and a revamped media player feature. [via N4BB]