Research in Motion is hoping to mount a comeback in the new year on the back of an all-new operating system called BlackBerry 10.
Yet while RIM is trying to innovate, it’s also being cautions about abandoning the devoted base of customers who’ve stuck with the BlackBerry. So, along with its new all-touch smartphone, that will be introduced with the fresh operating system in January, the company has also been touting a BB10 model with a full keyboard.
RIM showed off the device at its BlackBerry Jam developers event and mentioned it Thursday in the firm’s developer blog Thursday. RIM is releasing a limited number of developer models to let app makers adjust their devices for QWERTY input, the company said.
Only developers who can prove they’re building two or more apps for the system are eligible to get the phones. Only priority developers will receive devices — according to the post. Those making apps specifically for the BlackBerry will get higher priority than those adapting apps from other operating systems — such as Android — onto BlackBerry 10.
Getting developers excited about the new system is essential for the company, which has said that it wants to focus on building out its app store with “meaningful” programs that appeal to its business-centered customers.
The company has already opened the BlackBerry App World for programs to run on the new phones at launch.
BlackBerry 10, which aims to provide secure but fluid navigation between users’ personal and business data, is due to launch on January 30. The company is expected to launch two smartphones very soon after the system goes live.