RIM has announced the Dev Alpha C, its third prototype BlackBerry 10 handset for developers, at its BlackBerry Jam Asia event in Bangkok yesterday.
Only 1,500 units of the QWERTY keyboard-sporting devices have been produced for developers and RIM will allocate the handsets using a points system.
Those with the most points will be granted priority access to the device with points assigned according to criteria such as how many current BlackBerry apps each developer currently has in BlackBerry App World.
Developers will receive 1500 points for a ‘Built For BlackBerry’ certified app, 250 for all other native apps, and 50 points if their app has been ported from Android. As a further incentive RIM will swap the prototypes for the final model upon its release.
The Dev Alpha touchscreen only phone was the first prototype to be released to developers back in April this year, during the annual BlackBerry World conference. This was followed by the Dev Alpha B a few months later, which was an upgraded version of the original device.
RIM’s latest handset is all part of the company’s promise that it would make BB10 available for touch and QWERTY at launch, which is scheduled for 30 January 2013.
RIM CEO Thorsten Heins has also promised the new operating system will deliver “a best in class browser, a rich application ecosystem and cutting-edge multimedia capabilities.”