CANADIAN MOBILE MAKER Research in Motion (RIM) is putting together some handsets running its latest Blackberry 10 operating system so that it can pass them to developers for an early look.
The firm, which last week heard it had lost dominance in Canada to the Apple Iphone, has had an issue with Blackberry 10 already over having tried to call it BBX. It had to drop that name and revert back to its numerical naming convention. Whether that will be the last of its problems remains to be seen.
The already mentioned Apple devices also compete with Google's Android, an alternative that entered the market after Blackberry, and the Canadian firm also faces something of a challenge in the Microsoft and Nokia Windows Phone alliance.
The Blackberry 10 operating system conceivably could turn this around, and in an interview with Bloomberg, RIM's VP for developer relations Alec Saunders was brimming with confidence as he discussed how the developer release will be a proving ground for the handsets.
"It's a huge step forward on our path to eventually launching BB10," he said as he discussed that RIM will release as many as 2,000 handsets to developers. "It's tangible evidence of the company making progress to finally shipping the device."
However, he added that the final products will look a lot different than the devices handed out to developers. This suggests that RIM is giving itself some room for manoeuvre.
RIM has provided more information about the release in a blog post. There it says that its developer event, called Blackberry Jam, will see a number of other developer previews. These include the Blackberry 10 Native SDK, Webworks SDK, an SDK for Adobe Air and an SDK for Android apps.
The device gets a name too, although we probably could have guessed it. It is the Blackberry 10 Dev Alpha and will only be released as a prototype.
"Just to be 100 per cent clear - it's not the final hardware or OS for BlackBerry 10 - it's a device to help developers get started with designing for what's coming. is only for developers - not end users - and is only available to developer attendees at BlackBerry 10 Jam," adds the firm. µ