BlackBerry 10 L-Series front leak

In July, following a BlackBerry 10 slider concept render and months years of seemingly endless leaks, I wrote a piece titled I'm beginning to lose interest in everything Research In Motion does.

That was the honest truth. After several conferences, ample looks at the some of the more notable BlackBerry 10 features and countless setbacks, I found nothing to be particularly wowing or appealing about the software or how Research In Motion was handling the situation. While Thorsten Heins has definitely pushed harder than Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis, I'm still not sold on him as the best CEO for the job. In September, for example, Heins said they have a "clear shot at being the number three platform on the market."

To this, I responded, "Research In Motion, 'if you ain't first, you're last.'" And I stand by that. If RIM doesn't feel it has software and hardware capable of competing with the likes of Android and iOS, why should I bother?

All this time, software has been the root of the issue. But it's the hardware that may tip me to one side of the fence or the other. And at least one leak from February, the London, seemed promising. I said if one were available then, I would buy one. Turns out, as we learned nearly a week ago, the BlackBerry 10 L-series is a dead ringer for the BlackBerry London.

Unsurprisingly, though, I skimmed the news of the leaks without batting an eye. Totally unmoved … again. Had that phone and that design been on the brink of release a year ago, I would have immediately swooned. But I didn't. I saw it and moved on – no piquing of the interests, no drooling.

However, I spent some time reminiscing this weekend. I'm working on a piece that will go live on New Year's Day, my first piece as Managing Editor of PhoneDog. It details a little more of my history and how I got started in this industry. I'll spoil a tiny bit: a lot of it had to do with BlackBerry. I was a total BlackBerry nut and essentially hated anything that wasn't made by Research In Motion.

Of course, the times and my own opinions have changed quite a bit. But that seed that was planted long ago still exists, and there is still a special place in my heart for the Waterloo, Canada-based smartphone maker.

Reminiscing and reliving some of those old memories made me remember some of the things I miss about the older technology and, more specifically, about my old BlackBerrys. To name a few, I miss the keyboards and the universal inbox. I also miss the battery life, but I don't expect the same stamina out of these newer devices.

This morning, though, I turned on my computer to find two articles on CrackBerry that certainly raised a brow. First was the picture 26 screen captures that showed off more of the UI. One word: gorgeous. (Except for the home screen, that's still fairly cheesy and old school.) The other piece revealed that Research In Motion has given BlackBerry 10 and the respective hardware a hard date, January 30, in six cities around the world: New York, Toronto, London, Paris, Johannesburg and Dubai.

Something about knowing BlackBerry 10 will be here on a specific date – barring any unexpected delays – sent my interests through the roof.

I have a feeling it's more about me wanting something new and different more than anything. I have an iPhone 5 I'm trying to replace and the Windows Phone 8 devices really aren't doing anything for me. BlackBerry 10, for all I know, might be a flop. But I'm definitely interested to see what's going down on January 30 and see what all Research In Motion has up its sleeve.

Wouldn't it be something for my preferences to come full circle, starting from when I first moderated a forum thread on BBerryDog to stepping into a leadership role at PhoneDog? Either way, January is going to be one crazy month and it's great to see Research In Motion joining the party.

Tell me, people. Are you at all interested in BlackBerry 10 devices? Or did your interests in Research In Motion die with your last BlackBerry handset? Like me, will you give them one last chance?

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