BlackBerry ‘R-series’ images reveal external SIM slot

Pictured above, care of, the new budget BlackBerry 10 model, “BlackBerry R”. It’s the answer to those looking for a cheaper way to get their hands on BB10 OS. First we get the Z10, next up is the Q10. Is the “R10” next? When the first of the R-series makes its way into the public, it’s said that it’ll have less RAM, an 1800mAh battery (exactly the same as the Z10), 8GB internal memory and is said to be in the same price range as the current range of low-end Curves. So expect a BB10 OS device that could cost as little as US$250.

There’s more. According to this image, the new R-series BlackBerrys will have hot-swappable Micro SIM and SD slot ports. There have been BlackBerrys with external memory card ports, but never one with an external SIM. An exciting first for BlackBerry, or just a gimmick? It seems a little gimmicky to us, but the Curve crowd are the sea of casual users consuming gigs of content and looking for a free internet device. Some of them at least. The Curve series, especially the older models, are an inexpensive phone and media player, therefore hot-swappable music and video is something of a must-have if BlackBerry wants to position the R-series as an all-encompassing media device.

Something doesn’t quite sit right though, and that’s the keyboard. From the image above, it looks very cheap and tacky. And let’s hope that the colour doesn’t remain. Flesh tones never work with a device. Keep it black, white or nothing else, especially if it’s a BlackBerry. Some of us are old-fashioned like that.

Expect the R-series to arrive in the second half of 2013.

Steven Norris: grumpy curmudgeon


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