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In a blog post, RIM says it will distribute the device to developers only, producing only a "limited number" of units. Only developers who have demonstrated that they're actually building apps for BlackBerry 10 will get the Dev Alpha C. RIM actually has a point system to determine which developers are most deserving of a unit, awarding the most points for developers who have built RIM-certified apps.
The new prototype follows the original Dev Alpha device that the company released in the spring at its annual developer conference, BlackBerry World. Then earlier this fall, RIM debuted the Dev Alpha B -- an upgraded version of the original device. Both were purely touch-screen devices, though, and the Dev Alpha C is part of RIM fulfilling its promise that the company would make BB10 available for touch and QWERTY at launch.
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That launch is scheduled for January 30, 2013. RIM CEO Thorsten Heins promises the new operating system will deliver "a best in class browser, a rich application ecosystem, and cutting-edge multimedia capabilities."
The Dev Alpha C also underscores RIM's lengthy, repeatedly extended development process for BlackBerry 10. The company first unveiled the OS publicly over a year ago, and it hasn't had new hardware since the final BlackBerry 7 devices launched around the same time.
Does RIM's commitment to QWERTY phones make you feel better about BlackBerry 10? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Photo by Mashable
BONUS: A Tour of BlackBerry 10
BlackBerry 10 Lock Screen
You unlock a BlackBerry 10 device by swiping up from the bottom of the screen.
This story originally published on Mashable here.