A slide has appeared sporting the BlackBerry "London" superphone, resembling a miniature PlayBook tablet.
If the product shot obtained by CrackBerry is indeed real, then RIM is about to release its hottest BlackBerry phone yet, or rather, its BlackBery 10 superphone. The glimpse arrives just after RIM's 2012 BlackBerry Roadmap was leaked last week, detailing the release schedule of the BlackBerry Curve 9320 and 9220 in 1Q12, an updated PlayBook in 2Q12, and phones based on BlackBerry 10 (BBX) in 3Q12.
The superphone in question is codenamed BlackBerry "London" and reportedly first appeared back in November 2011 sporting angular edges. As CrackBerry points out, the new slide shows a new form factor similar to the PlayBook tablet, just smaller, featuring the same rounded corners and all-black look.
"While we heard the first photo of London was a legit RIM hardware concept, we've been hearing for an even longer time now that the first QNX-based phone hardware was more like a downsized PlayBook," the site reports. "The plot thickens."
Now for a bit of bad news: BlackBerry London may not ship in the U.S., but rather in the UK, hence the London name. Instead, two similar, additional models -- codenamed "Laguna" and "Lisbon" -- are in development for the States, targeting AT&T, Sprint and Verizon. All three will supposedly be the first smartphones based on RIM's BBX to hit the market.
On the hardware front, details are scarce for the moment. The report mentions that both TI OMAP5 and Qualcomm chipsets are being tested (1.5 GHz dual core processors), the latter used on the devices slated for CDMA networks.
Given that RIM hasn't announced anything official, everything seen here must be filed under "rumor and speculation." Will this be the year RIM makes a full comeback, taking on Android and iOS for your consumer dollar? Time will tell, but you have to admit: the BlackBerry London does look hot.