Blackberry’s “iPhone-killer” leaks

Jan 04, 2013

Matt Vella was an editor for Fortune between 2011 and 2013. He is now an editor at Time.

FORTUNE -- BusinessInsider is claiming to have seen the rarest of devices: new BlackBerries intended to take on Apple and Google head-to-head.

Images of the new BlackBerry 10 gizmo leaked from Vietnamese site Tinh Te at the end of 2012. BI's photos, which show purported BlackBerry devices from AT&T (t) and Verizon (vz) side by side with an iPhone 5, depict a super-sleek gadget that looks like the offspring of a Samsung Galaxy and Apple's (aapl) phone.

RIM is expected to formally take the wraps off the new device as well as the BlackBerry 10 operating system on January 30. BI's tipster notes that the build quality of the phone is very high and that it has features that are likely to appeal to traditional BlackBerry customers, including the ability to use the phone in separate modes for work or personal use. It reportedly only takes one minute to boot.

MORE: Will an Apple watch replace the iPhone?

RIM ended the year in a better position (relatively) than it has in a long time. Its FQ3 2013 results showed fewer handsets shipped than analysts had hoped (6.9 million versus an estimate of 7.5 million by Wells Fargo, for example) and lost about 1 million subscribers. That's the bad news, which most observers of the company are used to by now. The good? RIM achieved its targeted $1 billion in savings a quarter ahead of time. Its painful staff reductions are about 75% complete. That means the battered company is in decent shape going into what will surely be the most important product launch in its history.

If these are indeed the devices debuting at the end of the month, do you think BlackBerry will have what it takes to compete with Apple?

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