Remember the Porsche Design P'9981 BlackBerry? Introduced in late 2011, the P'9981 was a luxury version of the Bold 9900 that featured a stainless steel frame, leather back cover and a price tag around $2,000. The handset was powered by BlackBerry 7/7.1, and while there is a new BB7.1 device coming soon, that operating system is starting to show its age. There's some good news for consumers that would actually consider buying a new Porsche Design BlackBerry, though, as leaked images suggest that a BlackBerry 10 model could be coming.
Vietnamese site Tinh te has posted some images that show the back cover of a device that's covered in leather and stamped with the BlackBerry logo. The panel looks similar to the backside of the P'9981, complete a flat top, angled corners at the bottom and a rectangle-shaped opening that would house the device's camera. However, this particular rear panel looks to be a bit taller and thinner than the P'9981.
BlackBerry Vietnam has since shared its own fuzzy images of what looks to be a Porsche Design-branded BlackBerry 10 handset. The front of the device features Porsche Design branding and a BB10 loading icon, while the uncovered backside has a rectangular camera housing similar to the opening on the aforementioned rear cover. A second image of the unit's rear shows that it has a Z10-like internal layout, suggesting that this could be a Porsche Design version of the full-touch BB10 device.
While still very much a rumor at this point, I could see BlackBerry and Porsche Design teaming up to release a new device. Both the P'9981 and the BlackBerry 7.1 operating system that powers it are starting to get long in the tooth, and so a new BlackBerry 10-powered Porsche Design device could serve as a replacement to the P'9981 that would drive more consumers to BlackBerry's latest OS. Such a device would also likely help to pad BlackBerry's wallet a bit with thanks to the high price tag that the phone would likely carry.