New BlackBerry 10 prototype phone announced, has QWERTY keyboard

RIM has announced a new prototype BlackBerry 10 handset for developers, which comes with a Qwerty keyboard to allow them to test their apps on a more traditional BlackBerry device. The other prototype, released to developers back in April, was a touchscreen-only phone.

Revealed during BlackBerry Jam Asia, there will be 1,500 of the new prototypes available and distribution will depend on a points system, whereby each interested developer will score points based on different criteria, such as how many apps are currently available through RIM's system.

Read: BlackBerry 10 and the Alpha Dev B pictures and hands-on

For example, developers get 50 points if their apps are ported from Android, 250 points for all other native apps, all the way up to 1,500 points for a Built For BlackBerry certified application. Those with the biggest point scores will be given priority access to the new prototype devices. 

RIM has also offered a further incentive to development teams: when the final production handsets are ready, they'll swap them for the prototypes - which, invariably, have clunkier, less-sleek design builds because it's the software that's important.

Pic: (cc) Official BlackBerry Images



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