BlackBerry has confirmed it will let developers apply for a developer version of the BlackBerry Q10 ahead of its launch later in the year so they can get on with developing apps for the yet to be released BB10 smartphone. 

Announcing the news at BlackBerry Jam the company confirmed that it would be launching a new SDK (Software Developers Kit) to let developers design apps specfically for the square screen on the Q10.

READ: BlackBerry Q10 hands-on and pictures 

"This release brings with it an updated BlackBerry Q10 Simulator, but no SDK OS update for the BlackBerry Dev Alpha testing devices," it said. "The SDK update is specifically targeted at providing testing support using the BlackBerry Q10 simulator and BlackBerry Dev Alpha C testing devices (currently available only in the hands-on lab sessions at BlackBerry Jam Europe)". 

The BlackBerry Q10 differs from the BlackBerry Z10 available in shops in that it not only has a Qwerty keyboard, but also features a square display that measures 720 x 720 pixels. That could cause developers a number of issues as the Z10 screen resolution is 768 x 1280. A dedicated device would help them design apps that are suitable for both devices. 

To apply for the device developers have to submit more than two applications to be given priority seeding for the BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha C. Of those developers 1,500 will be determined on the following point system:

- 50 points for ported Android applications

- 250 points for all other applications (Native, BlackBerry® WebWorks™, Adobe AIR)

- 1,500 points for Built For BlackBerry certified application

- 200 points to start for BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha A/B recipients

- 200 points to start if you are a BlackBerry Elite Member

- BONUS: 200 points if you contribute to a repo on between Dec 1 and Feb 5

Developers who think they have all that can apply here.

Pocket-lint is attending BlackBerry Jam and hopes to bring you more details shortly.