BlackBerry 10 touch-screen phone could debut next year

A leaked RIM road map points to the debut of both a touch-screen and keyboard phone in 2013.

CNET

RIM is looking to a host of new products to help it recover in 2013, according to details reportedly found in a leaked product road map.

The company is set to kick off the year by launching both touch-screen and traditional QWERTY keyboard phones in the first quarter, according to enthusiast site BlackBerryOS.com. The BlackBerry London will be RIM's first touch-screen phone, the site says, while the BlackBerry Nevada will carry on with a physical keyboard.

Both phones will sport the BlackBerry 10 OS, which is finally slated to debut in the first quarter of 2013 following a delay from the second half of 2012. RIM CEO Thorsten Heins recently acknowledged that the company has faced technical issues trying to integrate certain features into the new OS.

Assuming the first-quarter launch stays on track, RIM is likely to unveil the London phone first as it had previously stated that its first BlackBerry OS 10 device would be a touch-screen phone. Europe will be first in line to get the new phones, supposedly around the first week of January, BlackBerryOS.com said, followed by North America during the first week of February.

The BlackBerry PlayBook tablet is also on the OS 10 list, due to receive an operating system upgrade around the first or second quarter of 2013. And RIM may also unveil a 10-inch PlayBook during the third quarter. Dubbed Blackforest with the number 128 next it, the new tablet may offer 128GB of storage, says BlackBerryOS.com, especially since the company is trying to push larger-capacity models.

Two other items spotted on the road map are devices dubbed Nashville and Naples.

No details were listed, leading BlackBerryOS.com to speculate that they could be new models of RIM's N-series phones, or even variations of the PlayBook tablet.

Leading up to 2013, RIM is set to launch a 4G version of its tablet in the fourth quarter of 2012. The company was initially supposed to roll out a 4G WiMax model last year via Sprint. But both companies reportedly nixed the idea , leaving RIM to focus on an LTE tablet instead.

One obvious question remains. Will these new devices and the debut of BlackBerry OS 10 help RIM stage a recovery or will the company continue its downward spiral despite its best efforts?

 

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