The first images of Research in Motion’s forthcoming BlackBerry 10 OS smartphone with a physical QWERTY keyboard on-board just got pictured for the first time over the holidays. The design loses the arced keyboard arrangement, but the rows still have frets on them and the individual keys are still tapered and ridged to aid in typing accuracy. Overall, the design looks similar to what RIM has been doing with its current flagship BlackBerry, the Bold 9900 series smartphone.
However, instead of a landscape-oriented screen over the keyboard, RIM will be doing what Palm had done for years with its Treo line of smartphones and placing a square touchscreen display over the screen. The new keyboarded BlackBerry will have a square-resolution display with 720 X 720 pixels, making it a rather odd resolution 720p HD display with a pixel density of 330-ppi. Images of RIM’s new smartphones were published on BGR.
In addition to this old favorite form factor with a physical keyboard, RIM will also be debuting its new BlackBerry 10 operating system on a touchscreen-only device that’s been previously leaked as the BlackBerry Z10. While that device does not have a physical keyboard like this one that’s been a favorite among long-time BlackBerry owners, RIM has been promoting the merits of its touchscreen-keyboard, including a predictive typing engine, auto-correct that’s intuitive, and support for multilingual input.
RIM is expected to launch its BlackBerry 10 OS alongside new hardware at the end of January 2013 in multiple countries simultaneously in an effort to stay better competitive against Android and iOS devices. It’s still unclear what the final naming of this smartphone will be at launch and if RIM will continue to use the Bold branding given the similarities of the keyboard between this BlackBerry 10 device and the current BlackBerry Bold 9900 series, which runs the BlackBerry 7 operating system currently.