With just a couple of months left in launch, here comes the QWERTY dev device, called Dev Alpha C from Research In Motion for developers dedicated to its upcoming BlackBerry 10 platform.
Earlier this year in May, RIM gave developers a touch-screen-based smartphone it called the Dev Alpha. On Nov. 29, it announced that select developers who have submitted two or more applications for BlackBerry 10 will have access to a Dev Alpha C. It has a touch-screen and a QWERTY keypad.
The device is by no means a true representation of the appearance of the upcoming BlackBerry 10 devices.
It is to be noticed that RIM will only provide a limited number of QWERTY dev devices whereas they gave out more than 7,500 Dev Alpha handsets. RIM has created a points system, with Dev Alpha C units going to those with the most points.
"We're only producing a limited number of these testing devices," RIM said in its post. Those who have developed two or more apps "will be given priority seeding for the BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha C."
Points system is as below:
|App to be ported to Android||50 Points|
|Apps in all other applications(Native, BlackBerry WebWorks, Adobe Air)||250 Points|
|Apps built for BlackBerry certified application||1500 Points|
#Both BlackBerry Elite members and BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha A/B recipients start the tally with 200 points.
The Dev Alpha C offer will run from Dec. 1, 2012, through Feb. 5, 2013. Anyone interested can sign up on the BlackBerry site.
RIM will officially introduce its new platform and two smartphones on Jan. 30. RIM CEO Thorsten Heins told eWEEK during an interview in August that the offer of the Dev Alpha handsets came out of RIM's experience launching its PlayBook tablet. Developers said they needed a test device ahead of launch, so that they could perfect apps in advance.
The reason to bring the QWERTY Dev device seems to be due the complications. The lack of a keyboard on the original Dev Alpha prompted speculation that RIM was walking away from QWERTY keyboards to which Heins told reporters, "We are not abandoning the BlackBerry physical keyboard."
Still, the arrival of the newest prototypes are, no doubt, good news for RIM, helping to build excitement around the twice-delayed launch and offering encouragement to RIM customers growing weary of the wait. With BlackBerry 10, Heins has promised a fantastic new QWERTY keyboard experience, touch-screen-based typing that will raise the bar for the industry, an end to the "in-out paradigm" in which the home screen is the portal to all other content, and devices that are deeply integrated to the apps and content that are most important to users.
"Our first priority is the success of our customers, because that's what we depend on," said Heins. "We need them to be successful for us to be successful. Pure market share is never an objective for a company."