AHHH! My eyes! Kill it! Kill it with fire! Either a Nokia designer from ten years ago traveled through time and infiltrated RIM to play a cruel joke, or this BlackBerry 9980 is still very much a work in progress. We caught a fuzzy glimpse of this BlackBerry a few weeks ago, with the initial assumption that this was going to be RIM’s first QNX smartphone, but that was quickly corrected by the source, and as we can see here, it’s running good ol’ OS 7. Maybe that software will change once (or if) this monstrosity gets launched, but we’ll see. The source says the keyboard is made of metal, which might actually be a nice change of pace, but everything else about this thing is way, way too blocky. The source also says this may be a limited edition model that will be set with diamonds.
As much as I might pray that this is just some crazy Chinese knock-off, there are lots of signs to the contrary, like a label by the SIM card slot saying “Made in Canada”, and the same battery used as the Bold 9900. All of the layout seems to be in line with what RIM has established with the 9900: headphone jack and microUSB jack on the left side, charging contacts at the bottom, NFC built into the battery door, media controls and convenience key on the right side… That being said, I sincerely hope that this was just an early prototype of the 9900, and isn’t actually something RIM intends to launch. With any luck, it’s just some terrible third-party luxury handset retailer that has struck up a deal with RIM to get access to parts.
The ominous “proceeding” etching at the top seems to indicate that this is a prototype that will (or was at one point) moving forward. Is there anyone out there who would actually get this thing, embedded with diamonds or otherwise?