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Upcoming February/March launch will be key test of RIM's remaining draw

While there's still a hearty helping of gloom and doom surrounding embattled Canadian smartphone-maker Research in Motion, Ltd. (TSE:RIM), there's also been recent signs that could raise the hope that the company could survive the rocky and delay-filled BlackBerry 10 launch.  Lower than expected defections and better than expected financials have raised some cautious optimism among beleaguered investors.

The latest leak from the BlackBerry space is the leak of a single image of the full-QWERTY N-Series model, which is likely to be named the BlackBerry X10.  For those who aren't BlackBerry veterans, RIM's keyboards are widely regarded as the best in the industry, making tapping out a quick email much less tedious (and less autocorrect-filled) than using a touch screen.

The new device, though, tweaks the traditional formula a bit, straightening out the curved keyboard into straight lines.  It was clear not all readers on the enthusiast site CrackBerry were fans of the change, with some going as far as to say they hoped the images were fake.

BlackBerry X10
Leaked images of what is supposedly the BlackBerry X10 (??) [Image Source: Crackberry]

As with any device image leak, the authenticity is open for debate, but CrackBerry tends to have a relatively impressive record leaking past devices.  What do BlackBerry fans think?  Is this the keyboard you're looking for, or has RIM gone too far?

Source: CrackBerry

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keyboard is back
By realist on 12/26/2012 8:53:32 AM , Rating: 3
Looks nice, very plain and simple hope the OS is simple and secure. They should do a drop test see how stable this device is


RE: keyboard is back
By Labotomizer on 12/26/2012 9:00:53 AM , Rating: 2
It does look nice. And I think this is the device existing BB users will want. Just curious on how the other one appeals to former users who have made the jump to other platforms are have grown accustomed to the onscreen keyboard. It will be an interesting first half of 2013 for RIM, that's for sure.

RE: keyboard is back
By Samus on 12/26/2012 3:13:50 PM , Rating: 3
I'd go back to Blackberry if they had more apps, functional multitouch, better camera, better battery life and a nice UI (because ever since OS6 it's been awful)

I miss my Blackberry. Those were the days when you could buy a phone and keep it for 3 years.

RE: keyboard is back
By SAnderson on 12/27/2012 1:01:15 PM , Rating: 2
Sounds like those were the years of no innovation and probably why you left BB as others have innovated.

RE: keyboard is back
By Motoman on 12/26/2012 10:47:20 AM , Rating: 2
It's a massive departure for BB keyboards reason why BBs were so much easier to type on was that their buttons were smaller, with large gaps in-between them. That made it easier to get the right key with your fingers, and harder to hit the wrong one.

Now it looks like a bog-standard keyboard from any of the zillions of other smartphones on the market. That's what the concern is about. One thing the BB had, in a real and physical way, was a superior it may only be as good as the rest.

RE: keyboard is back
By tastyratz on 1/4/2013 12:47:05 PM , Rating: 2
agreed, I don't like it.
The curved center allowed your thumbs to more easily reach and manipulate all keys in a fluid motion without any wrist movement or hand rotation - even just a slight curve.
straight keys are JUST like everyone else, bad move rim.

RE: keyboard is back
By Flunk on 1/14/2013 3:36:27 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe for you, I found Blackberries terrible for just that reason. The tiny little keys are difficult to hit if you have large hands.

RE: keyboard is back
By lexluthermiester on 1/15/2013 9:26:29 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed, huge hands here too. But to be fair, I do miss my BB Pearl. I've got the Galaxy S Relay and it is very cool. Yet if BB make a good comeback and they get the OS just right, I might just switch back.

RE: keyboard is back
By MrBungle123 on 1/17/2013 11:12:05 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah the keyboard stuck on the end of the phone is kind of lame... I think they'd be better off with a slider or something so they could offer a bigger keyboard.

RE: keyboard is back
By retrospooty on 12/26/2012 11:37:58 AM , Rating: 2
It does look nice, but I doubt it is real. There is something about that picture that just doesnt look right to me.

With that said, I am sure whatever is released will be a good kb. RIMM has always had decent hardware and great keyboards. It was always the OS that lacked.

RE: keyboard is back
By nedsand on 12/26/2012 4:04:35 PM , Rating: 2
Kind of looks like a Palm Centro without the extra nav/on/off buttons. I liked the Centro back in it's day. Phones were from a whole other world back then.

RE: keyboard is back
By crazyirish on 1/25/2013 12:10:36 PM , Rating: 2
Looks like a recycled version of the 9900 Bold keyboard without the finger mouse. Hated it then and will probably hate it now.

I hope the new OS is as good as the hardware
By nangryo on 12/26/2012 9:32:39 AM , Rating: 2
If the new BB10 Os is fluid and fast at least like Jelly Bean, I think I will get rid of my pearl and get this one. App doesn't matter that much right now, I just need one that doesn't need to be restarted once a day because of unresponsive.

By CarMatch on 12/26/2012 12:50:19 PM , Rating: 2
I've had an iPhone now for 3 months and I can't wait to use a BB again. And as most of us, the problem was the OS. But that beeing said, if this is settled, I'll certainly get my hands on a BB10 FOR SURE.

hey mick
By Pirks on 12/29/2012 5:33:30 AM , Rating: 1
why did you stop pushing your usual BS about "RIM for sale before the end of the year"? did your sponsor stop sending you checks for trolling RIM or what?

RE: hey mick
By JKflipflop98 on 1/16/2013 12:37:55 AM , Rating: 2
. . . it's better than taking money for rimming trolls.

By Basilisk on 12/26/2012 2:13:25 PM , Rating: 2
'Guess "BB10" will always connote a more beautiful object ( ) to me... but the "keyboard" reference was puzzling.

Speaking to a friend from Budapest, this week, he was embarrassed that his company hadn't escaped their Blackberry's yet, but they were actively pursuing a replacement. After the years of neglect, those customers who left won't return and where will BB find enough new customers? Too little... too late....

By FormulaRedline on 1/3/2013 12:23:49 PM , Rating: 2
straightening out the curved keyboard into straight lines

1) Curved is a synonym for not straight.
2) Straightening something that was not straight makes it straight.

Oh, and I think something or rather about a dark colored fruit.

This message has been brought to you by the Department of Redundancy Department.

as a BB dev...
By AraH on 1/12/2013 7:44:28 AM , Rating: 2
as a mobile applications developer, if they want apps to be built for their platform they're going to have to make it easier for us to develop, when i do projects for fun i never do BB because BB isn't fun.

under the hood it's a pile of garbage, i don't know if they can turn that around, but given that they built a pile of garbage once and didn't look back, i think they'll build one again.

in fact, i can't wait till they go out of business.

Blackberry Thumb lol
By Roffles on 1/24/2013 3:28:22 PM , Rating: 2
There was always a little piece of me that missed having a physical keyboard up until recently when I discovered SwiftKey for my Galaxy S3. The predictive text is amazingly accurate. I hardly even type anymore...just tap the first couple letters of a word to start a sentence and it goes to work predicting the rest of it with a tap here and a tap there. I suspect Blackberry will make a lot of money from uninformed buyers who haven't realized touchscreen keyboard software has evolved way beyond physical keys.

“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads

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