First BlackBerry 10 superphone pictures leak. Or, RIM's homage to Android's homage of iPhone

First BlackBerry 10 superphone pictures leak. Or, RIM's homage to Android's homage of iPhone

New images have leaked showing what may be code-name London, or the first of the next-generation BlackBerry 10 superphones expected to ship from RIM at the end of 2012 and... they look like Android phones that look like iPhones. Kevin Michaluk from pitches them a phone-sized PlayBooks but after being teased with the far more original looking, Porsche Design-style concepts we saw a few weeks back, I can't help but be a little disappointed.

Sure, Apple didn't invent the black slab form factor, but in an era that was then dominated by front-facing QWERTY devices, including the Treo, Windows Mobile Standard, Nokia communicators, and, yes, BlackBerrys, Apple inarguably popularized them. They popularized them to such an extent that Google smartly, swiftly switched gears from making Android BlackBerry-like to iPhone-inspired. RIM dabbled in that form factor as well, with the near disastrous Storm line, and now the expanded Torch line.

But to lead with it into the new generation of BlackBerrys, and now, some 5 years later? (And yes, once again, I informed you thusly.)

A big part of me hopes not. I'm tired of iPhone clones. Sure, Samsung has proven that the closer you are to copying Apple without being Apple, the more money you make in the not-Apple market (just look at Motorola and HTC profits by way of comparison), but Apple didn't get to where they are -- sitting on one of the largest bankrolls in history -- by copying the BlackBerry or Treo back in 2007.

They looked at the market. They saw a problem with existing offerings. They tried to solve it with something new. RIM has had 5 years since then -- 5 years to study Apple, look for the iPhone's weaknesses, and figure out how to take then next great leap forward. To figure out how to do to Apple what Apple did to Palm and RIM.

They wasted a lot of that on the Storm and Torch and PlayBook. Hopefully they're not wasting one precious moment of it now.

I want BlackBerry back. I want them putting pressure on Google and Apple. I want more great phones to choose from. I don't want Jonathan Ive to be the lead designer-by-proxy of yet another me-too phone line.

Delight me RIM. Surprise me. You've got a new CEO. He has great contacts. I'm holding out hope for you.


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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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First BlackBerry 10 superphone pictures leak. Or, RIM's homage to Android's homage of iPhone


It looks alright I guess, though I have to say there isn't really much that could lure me back to BlackBerry at this point.

I dunno, I think with RIM poaching Android apps, I don't think selection is going to be much of an issue. Quality on the other hand...

Just like BBM has kept people on BlackBerries, iMessage is starting to have the same effect on me with the iPhone. I live my iPhone anyway, but literally about 75% of my cell phone contacts have iOS 5 iPhones with iMessage. I just looked at my texting history for the last month, and I had 14 texts. Incoming and outgoing combined! With iMessage thrown it, it would have been well over 1000. I've dropped my unlimited texting and have saved a lot of money already simply because of iMessage.

actually it looks like a droid x which looks nothing like an iphone, or then again you probably think that every square phone is a copy off the iphone. You fail to mention the iphone wasn't the first all touch screen square phone..

Chris, I didn't fail to mention it at all. First sentence of the second paragraph:
"Sure, Apple didn’t invent the black slab form factor..."

you shouldn't then feel " a little disappointed " different can they make it from others smartphone out there, wait until you play with it and hold it in your hands before you judge.... just wait..

Great artcile Chris. You.. stole the words from my mouth. I am finally getting ready to break down and buy a 2nd gen iPod Touch to compliment my Touch Diamond.

The iPhone pays homage to the LG Prada, truly the first phone of its kind. Anyway, the G1 looked nothing like an iPhone, so stop saying Android copied Apple's iPhone, especially since Apple is now only implementing a native digital voice assistant and a drop down notification center - a blantant copy of Android. They need to revamp iOS because that static grid of icons looks stale compared to Android 4.0 and Windows Phone 7.5.

and Apple copied microsoft's windows mobile 5 and microsoft's pocket PC copied Palm's pda grid icons.
And now all the jailbreaker want window phone live tiles on their iOS devices. it's amazing how thinking different works, right?

If you read the article you're commenting on, I said Apple didn't invent but they popularized it. Those are two very different thing. Nokia might well have made a black slab in 1812, but it wasn't until the iPhone that it became the most common form factor.

You've got a point. Before the iPhone, how many smart phones had keyboards. Now, how many smartphones have keyboards? I can only think of Motorola as the one making them. HTC had a couple. That was it and HTC is scaling back their product portfolio. No, Apple didn't create the touch screen or the slab, but after the iPhone, seems that every manufacturer makes them now, Just as Apple produced the Macbook Air and now Intel is touting the Ultrabook. Fact is, Apple leads and everyone else follows. There's far too much evidence of this in the market place to prove it.

This article comes off as rather self righteous. Despite you mentioning and acknowledging that the iPhone isn't the first black slab phone, you turn a 180 and imply that it might as well should have been. I own an iPhone, sure. But I don't go making off-handed comments on others who prefer something different. Your last two paragraphs "cheering" for RIM hardly hide the horrible undertones of arrogance that this post carries.
Like Ferigno said above, at least "wait until you play with it and hold it in your hands before you judge..."

Hmm is annoye else encountering problems with the images on this blog loading? I'm trying to find out if its a problem on my end or if it's the blog. Any responses would be greatly appreciated.

Droid X was the first thing that popped into my head. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it has a few little touches that look Motorola-ish.
If this phone came out today, it'd be a huge deal for Blackberry. It would potentially be a big deal. Instead, it's not due for a few months. This will turn into another Palm-type situation where they announce a phone that could be competitive, but hold off on a release until it's behind the curve (no pun intended) and irrelevant.

Is this a joke? Stick a fork in RIM already. Even if the hardware was decent they've got nothing to put on it that people want to use.

It doesn't matter what it looks like... what really matters is what the foaming at the mouth patent attorneys think it looks like. I don't know about any of you but I just can't wait for another exciting round of wheel of litigation.

"It doesn’t matter what it looks like… what really matters is what the foaming at the mouth patent attorneys think it looks like. I don’t know about any of you but I just can’t wait for another exciting round of wheel of litigation."
Except that won't happen here. Unlike Sammy, RIM has a boatload of patents. Just like Apple didn't go after Palm/HP they won't go after RIM. Apple may be aggressive, they aren't that stupid.

You do know that Samsung has the largest patent portfolio of any tech company in the world...right?

Rene good article, but I do have one question. What do u think that the next big phone will have? The one that changes the form factor from what we see from most phones on the market today.

That was my point too, we know it wont have a keyboard, it's gotta have a big screen of about 4". I mean, was he expecting it to be rounded?? I just think the criticism based only in this leaked picture was unnecessary..

A black slab is a black slab, there is only so much (or little)that can be done to/with it. Period.
The real deal will be what the new OS is like, what features will it have that set it apart of other devices that are already on the market. It will all come down to the operating system and software.

I agree. People put too much emphasis on the hardware. It's the software, apps and cloud services tying everything together that make the hardware sing. RIM still has a chance to pull this off. This year will be the last chance they have with everyone else firing on all cylinders now.

One of our IT guys aharopcped me yesterday to tell me that's what we get for using Crapple computers. Another nerd requirement is that 20 year old jokes are as funny now as they were then. Anyway, as much as I love my MacBook Pro, and as much as your MacBook is a nice machine, I can't stand Apple stores. It's like they took every half-assed moron with an iPod, wrapped them in some khakis, and shoved them into one huge vortex of self-absorbed condescension. If I need to buy any Apple gear, I'll stick with the web site. At least whoever puts the stuff in the boxes in Singapore doesn't give you a dirty look when you pull out a non-iPhone.

Another me-too black slab? This is the best they can do? RIM lost me as a customer in 2010 and won't ever be getting me back. Android lost me as a customer in 2011. I have an iPhone 4S. Anything that is another me too slab won't even spark a yawn out of me unless someone figures out a way to make it slimmer than the iPhone and have a side sliding keyboard. That's what it will take to even get my interest, otherwise anything that even remotely looks like a ME-TOO slab won't get my interest.

I just left (finally!) webOS for the new iPhone and I am hoping somebody pushes Apple to create a UI as good as webOS. The iPhone's static "grid of icons" (as mentioned above) and the old school home button desperately need an update!

If you watch the RIM Playbook demos using the new Playbook 2.0 OS, you'll have a very good idea of the next Blackberry 10 OS will be like. From what I've seen it's the closest thing to a webOS UI I've seen so far. It looks nice actually. I just hope the performance, and fit and finish are there when it's released.

I switched to iPhone from BB 18 months ago and yes, I have looked backed. I may be the few, but I miss my BB Storm 2 and BB in general. I really hate how people put themselves on a pedestal because they own an iPhone or an Android device. I feel like like I'm a snob just because I have an iPhone. In reality, iPhone is not all that and a bag of chips. Thing I miss the most about BB is autocorrect. iOS is crap when it comes to autocorrect. BB's approach is waaaaaaaay better. Please stop with the iPhone snobbery that has been going on lately.

Yea, RIM should be more original and make a phone in the shape of a triangle. Then again, that iPhone bezel you all know and love was jacked from the Bold 9000 so it's probably fair that RIM can make a phone in the shape of a phone.

I don't own a Blackberry, iPhone, Android etc. just an old old Nokia £5 handset.
Blackberry is thriving in the UK, especially in Enterprise. The iPhone is ubiquitous. I like this design, I would definitely think about Blackberry. Makes a change from all the Android, iPhone, Windows, rubbish I keep reading.
The iPhone may be ubiquitous, but not everyone has ios5 or iMessage.

funny. my first thought was it looks like most android phones too. That's not a bad thing but it also doesn't wow me. But then again most companies that try to wow me with their phone end up making something they think is cool and i think is styleless and tacky and i'd never carry. Like a white and black veer.

@Rene I fail to see a few of your points, but I do understand a few of them also.
Yes, Apple "popularized" the slab form factor. But honestly...why does that matter? That means nothing in the way of this article. You can't say someone is paying homage to Apple when they, themselves, are paying homage. Let the title reflect that correctly. Is it LG's fault that the Prada didn't have the type of clout that Apple and their "i" line had? No. But that doesn't take away from the fact that LG stepped out their and did it first "without" copying Apple. That's the main thing to take from that.
Now the next thing...what can be improved with this form factor? Hardware wise, we've kinda hit the ceiling. All you can do is improve the material and the underlying tech. The design is always going to be a rectangular slab with minimal design differences (button layout/no buttons, camera position, sensor position, etc). The only improvements that can be made now are on the software side. That is what will decide the battles from now on.
I love my Apple devices, but you don't have to be 'completely' biased just because this is an Apple site.

If you admit that the iPhone was not the first black slab phone, Apple just made it popular, then your assertion that the BlackBerry 10 is a "homage to Android’s homage of iPhone" should end with "iPhone's homage of the LG Prada". You don't have to be popular to be paid homage, you just have to be first.
Moreover, nothing is inarguable. The Prada was the beginning of a trend that began with the cheap availability of the capacitive screen, so we can easily argue that black slab phones were coming, Apple or not. The first iPhone wasn't even that popular, and by the time it really became popular other companies like Nokia and Samsung were already experimenting with the black slab format.

I actually like it. It's an understated design, no crap around it. Very simple. It's solid hardware. Hopefully no carrier branding just the BB logo. If it is as thin as it looks it'll be great hardware. Now just hope the software is good ... And that it actually launches haha.

it's more of a first to publish branding than it is claiming it's theirs.. I'm sure blackberry "leaked" it to Kevin by "accident"..
don't forget they just announced hiring a new cmo for marketing and now they have new images leak for the next bb10 smartphone..

So the "best" thing that RIM can come up a year from now is something that looks like Droid X, from 2-3 years ago? Applause please...

That's because these are obviously fake. Why would you classify these as real if RIM didn't make any public announcement of said devices yet?

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I do not like iMaxi-Pads or you f-king iSheeps. But for you to judge a phone that's just a concept, just shows how stupid all of you are (no wonder you all have iMaxi-pads). All 4.5 generations of iMaxi-pads looks the same way (first gen was more of a rounded back, then on the 4.5 gen it's flat but it looks the same) at lease RIM give us options to choose from. BlackBerry has apps for the working men and women (no foolish of how not to be GAY, are you f-king serious, no wonder you have 500,000 apps of pure foolishness) When BB10 is launched your maxi-pad will only be good for collecting women's waste.
I HATE you f-_king iMaxi-pad users you are all a bunch of A$$'$

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