Research In Motion plans to provide a prototype BlackBerry 10 device to app developers to help them design applications for future smartphones that would run on a modified version of the software running RIM's poor-selling PlayBook tablet.
According to the Canadian company, the device was not a commercial BlackBerry 10 device, the first of which would launch later this year, but it would help create excitement among developers over its overhauled operating system.
According to Alex Kinsella, RIM's social media manager, it was not the final hardware or OS – it was a device to help developers start off with designing for what was coming.
RIM has no answer to the massive app libraries available on Apple products and Google's Android platform, which is used by a variety of handset makers including Samsung.
It is making a fresh start with PlayBook and BlackBerry 10, which are powered by a completely different operating system than RIM's legacy BlackBerry smartphones.
The device, called the BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha, would be presented to developers attending RIM's annual BlackBerry World conference to be held in Orlando, Florida, in early May.