The phone will debut publicly later in the year.
The company will give out the devices, which include its new Operating System (OS) based on QNX, at a May conference to developers.
RIM is pinning its future on them and has started spreading the word to top tier media, including the Wall Street Journal, of the upcoming free prototypes dubbed, “BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha.”
With the early preview, RIM is hoping the developers will begin designing for the upcoming phones.
The QNX platform isn’t new.
RIM obtained it in 2010 and last year, it was included in its poorly received BlackBerry Playbook tablet.
The new platform had been expected to launch in phones earlier this year but it has incurred repeated delays.
RIM is looking at the new platform to jump start the company’s market share that has been lost to Apple's iPhone and Google's Android suite of smartphones.
Analysts have said the company needs the phones carrying the new platform to become competitive even though they remain bearish on the company.
On Friday, Jim Suva of Citigroup said:
“We believe RIM developers face confusion over BB7 and QNX. We believe RIM’s multiple challenges will lead to a combination of share loss in the smartphone market, gross margin compression, higher operating expenses, and EPS that will decline over the next couple of years.”
Suva has kept his “Sell” rating on RIM.
In the past 12 months, 80% of the RIM’s stock value has evaporated.
On Thursday, 29th March 2012, the company will report quarterly results for the quarter ending 28th February.