The physical keyboard is one feature that BlackBerry smartphones have long been known for, and so even though the company formerly known as RIM will soon launch the QWERTY-equipped BlackBerry Q10, it shouldn't come as a surprise to see that it's also cooking up another model with a hardware keyboard. According to BlackBerryOS, the device you see up there is a BlackBerry 10 R-Series model, which is expected to be the BlackBerry 10 version of the Curve family. That means that this R-Series unit will likely be more affordable than the higher-end Z10 and Q10 devices.
In a separate leak, BlackBerry Empire claims to have gotten hold of a sketch of the rear of this unit from a source that has seen the device. There's nothing terribly shocking shown in the image, as the back of the R-Series looks like the back of a smartphone, but the sketch does suggest that its SIM card and microSD card slots will be located on the side of the device for easy swapping.
This is actually the second time that we've gotten a peek at the BlackBerry 10 R-Series unit. The first time that we saw it, the phone was posing with its Z10 and Q10 siblings in a rather dark, low-quality image. This new shot offers up a much better look at the Curve-like phone and its hardware keyboard. The rumor mill suggests that we could get an even better look at the R-Series later this year on store shelves, but so far there have been no leaks showing a concrete release timeframe for the device.