A series of images has been floating around today of what’s purported to be the BlackBerry 9980, a cousin to the recently-released Bold 9900 and 9930. While there plenty of similarities, some radical design decisions leave us with a smartphone unlike any other BlackBerry we’ve come across before. Is it a prototype, a counterfeit device, an elaborate case mod, or something else altogether?
Much of the phone’s external hardware lines up with that of the 9900, suggesting they’re based on the same components. The handset is apparently running BlackBerry OS 7, just like a 9900 should. Similarities aside, the metallic keyboard is utterly un-RIM and looks positively alien. Then there’s the replacement of the optical trackpad with this odd crosshair pattern, and the puzzling PROCEEDING stamped up top… it’s all just too weird.
If you’ve got any theories that might explain just what it is we’re looking at here, we’d love to hear them.