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Alleged image of BlackBerry QWERTY phone leaks online

An image reportedly showing off the upcoming BB10 R-Series smartphone has popped up online courtesy of

Alleged photo of BlackBerry R series phone
The BlackBerry R-series phone, allegedly. Click on the image for the full photo.

BlackBerry watchers may have just gotten a peek at the upcoming BB10 R-Series QWERTY smartphone.

A purported image of the R-series phone popped up yesterday in the BlackBerryOS forums. The image doesn't show much other than the familiar BlackBerry QWERY keyboard and screen. But further details about the new phone may have been revealed by blog site BlackBerry Empire.

An alleged sketch of the R-Series phone shows slots for a Micro SIM card and an SD card on the left side. The Micro SIM slot is a new feature for BlackBerry phones and is likely geared for travelers who need to easily swap their SIM cards as they trek from one country to another.

The phone will reportedly come with 8GB of memory, half the amount offered by the BlackBerry Q10 and Z10 devices. The R-Series phone will likely sport fewer features than found on other BB10 devices but also be more streamlined and easier on the wallet. BlackBerry Empire expects the phone to cost between $300 and 400 off-contract and to debut sometime in the late summer or early fall.

BlackBerry dispensed with its usual physical keyboard with the launch of the BlackBerryZ10 in the U.S. last month. But the company will revert back to form with its new QWERTY-friendly Q10 phone.

As of today, the Q10 is up for preorder in the U.K. and will be available from U.K. retailer Carphone Warehouse by the end of the month. But U.S. consumers eyeing the Q10 might have to wait until May or June to order one.