Leaked photo of BlackBerry 'London' with BBX OS

Could this be the first BlackBerry smartphone running BBX, the fusion platform combining the best of the PlayBook's QNX and BB OS?

The Verge is reporting that Research In Motion's first BBX smartphone -- a fusion of the BB OS and the PlayBook's QNX platform -- could be the BlackBerry "London" (pictured below).

Although this new BB won't be rolling out until June 2012, specs that are already floating around on the Interwebs about the London this morning:

  • Processor: TI OMAP dual-core CPU clocked to 1.5GHz
  • RAM: 1GB
  • Storage: 16GB
  • Cameras: 8-megapixel rear camera; 2-megapixel front-facing camera

Like the Nokia N9, the London is all touchscreen with no physical buttons on the front. Its angled corners actually remind me of the Motorola Photon 4G (I did a double-take on the branding), but no doubt follows the lineage of the Porsche-designed BlackBerry P9981 that The Verge noted. The tech site's source even went so far to say the new BB will be "thinner than the iPhone 4" and "roughly the same size as a Galaxy S II."

Now, it's not clear whether this is just the photo of a concept phone that will never make it to market or just a rendering of what the London may look like, but it's interesting to get a preview of BBX and possibly a new BB form factor nonetheless. I'm glad to see RIM is keeping the thumbnail UI design from QNX/PlayBook because that's what made the tablet easier to navigate than its Android competitors. But I'm surprised RIM would doing away with its famous QWERTY keypad because that, more than BBM, is why users continue to carry a BB. Perhaps this model is targeted at consumers tired of a shrunken touchscreen, versus business professionals who need BB for work?

Is BBX and more design-conscious handsets what RIM need to compete with Windows and Nokia for the third spot in the smartphone market? Give us your two cents below.

[Source: The Verge, Engadget]