updated 10:23 am EST, Thu November 29, 2012
New prototype uses keyboard, forgoes touchscreen-only interface
Research In Motion has revealed it will make a new prototype BlackBerry 10 device available to developers. The announcement at BlackBerry JAM in Asia said that developers could apply for one of the 1,500 devices, and that recipients of the prototypes will be able to swap the device after launch for a full-production version.
Developers that will receive the smartphone, which is said to have a Qwerty keyboard instead of the touchscreen-only interface of the previous prototype, will be the highest in a ranked order on a points-based system. According to Neowin, developers already with a Built For BlackBerry certified application will score 1,500 points, with points decreasing depending on previous BlackBerry development experience. Developers that have ported Android applications to the platform will receive 50 points.
RIM has also worked with Appcelerator to offer more incentives to use the platform, with the first 100 develops that submit apps for review to the BlackBerry World storefront gaining a BlackBerry Dev Alpha test device. Up to 10,000 developers will receive one year of cloud services from Appcelerator, once the app has been approved for sale. Previously, the company promised developers that if their BlackBerry 10 application failed to earn at least $10,000 in the first year, they would be paid the difference.
The last SDK will be out on December 11th, while the first production BlackBerry 10 handsets are scheduled to go on sale in January.