Well, what do we have here? Looks like BlackBerry is preparing a low-end BB10 handset to woo those who found the BlackBerry Z10 revoltingly over-priced, just like the company's CEO Thorsten Heins claimed last month

Alleged pictures of an affordable looking R-Series BlackBerry 10 handset were sent to BlackBerryOS, a dedicated BB fan site. The picture shows a white handset with the trademark QWERTY keyboard and what looks like a smaller display than the soon-to-be-launched BlackBerry Q10.

The R-Series Curve device will definitely have lower specs than the Q10, but will also be running the same OS. Our first impression on seeing the device was how old-school it looked. It almost riffs on the Nokia design language for feature phones from a decade ago. But then our eyes could be deceived by the low-quality image. 

The leaked image of the R-Series phone

The leaked image of the R-Series phone

The R-Series model is also known as the BB10 Curve and will most likely be the bottom rung on the Canadian company's portfolio. After a troubling few years, BlackBerry reported a turnaround last month at an earnings call and also revealed that more than a million BlackBerry Z10s have been sold since the January 30 launch of the phone.

At the same time the company had announced that the QWERTY-toting BlackBerry Q10 will be going on sale from April onwards. True to form, the Q10 went on pre-order in the UK for a whopping £580 (approx Rs 48,500) unsubsidised with a shipping date of this month's end. The Q10 sports a 3.1-inch Super AMOLED touchscreen above the signature BlackBerry full phone keyboard. Inside there's a dual-core 1.5GHz processor with 2GB of RAM, an 8-megapixel camera, and 16GB of storage for music, movies and photos. 

Last month, BlackBerry CEO Heins was quoted as saying that the company will be launching a touch-screen and a QWERTY keypad-clad device for the low-end, mid-range and top-end segments. Looks like the R-Series will fill up a spot on the first of the three. He also said, “There’s one new product I’m really excited about, but I can’t really share it. It takes BlackBerry 10 to another level in terms of the user experience.” Let's hope all of these phones make an appearance before long so we can once again look forward to some real competition in terms of mobile software platforms.

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