See the full article for more details and a RIM “death watch” link collection
“On Tuesday, Research in Motion unveiled prototypes of the BlackBerry 10 phone and operating system--a product more or less unanimously considered to be the company’s last chance (if that moment hasn’t already passed). Emphasis on the proto- there; the New York Times reports that the “phone” can’t actually make calls yet, is completely without buttons, and will have bad battery life.
Why release such a prototype at all? RIM wants to woo developers to the platform as soon as possible. If, when the phone actually launches late this year, it’s devoid of apps, it will be essentially dead upon its arrival into the marketplace. And so RIM is putting out what it’s calling an “alpha” version of the phone, a “very, very stripped down” version. Other out-of-context choice quotes from the befuddled vice president of developer relations include: “a little bit pokey,” and “not super great.””