It looks like the leaked BlackBerry X10 model with a physical QWERTY keyboard may not launch on January 30th alongside the BlackBerry 10 operating system and the touchscreen-only BlackBerry Z10 model. The BlackBerry X10 has been leaked in the past with a keyboard that’s very reminiscent of the BlackBerry Bold series today and with a square touchscreen display on top. In a report on Mobile Syrup, Research in Motion is saying that the SDK for this particular model will be available to developers once the all-touch BlackBerry 10 device is revealed.
And considering that all signs are pointing to a reveal date of January 30th for the BlackBerry Z10, the all-touch model, it would mean that the BlackBerry X10 would miss the initial launch.
This makes sense as RIM is focusing all of its developer efforts on the BlackBerry Z10, which has a 720p HD display with a 16:9 aspect ratio. This is in contrast to the wildly different BlackBerry X10, which has a 1:1 aspect ratio square display with an HD 720p display. The display aspect ratio of the BlackBerry X10 is more akin to Palm’s Treo of yore and this is the first time that we’re seeing a square resolution screen introduced on a BlackBerry.
While the BlackBerry 10 operating system is touch-centric and will likely be geared towards the large touchscreen slate form factor on phones, RIM isn’t risking alienating any of its traditional BlackBerry loyalists who have grown up on the platform accustomed to a great hardware keyboard experience.
It’s still unclear when the BlackBerry X10 will launch, but given that the developer devices will be seeded after January 30th, it may be some time before consumers will see the phone. RIM will likely want to build up the BlackBerry World app catalogue with enough titles that are compatible with the BlackBerry X10’s display before launching the phone.
The developer edition of the BlackBerry X10 with the keyboard is called the Dev Alpha C device.