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Images of the new BlackBerry London, the first of two devices we expect to see late next month from Research In Motion, are making their way around the Internet today. They certainly don't look like a typical BlackBerry, but they will look familiar – if you've ever seen one of Apple's iPhones.
The pictures, supposedly leaked to a Vietnamese tech site, show a new phone that more closely resembles an iPhone or many of the bevy of Android smartphones out there – fairly minimalistic in design. You can also see what look like both a micro USB port and another that fits a mini HDMI cable.
The London is the first of what are to be two new smartphones from RIM that are expected to be unveiled on Jan. 30, 2013. Both are based on the new BlackBerry 10 operating system, which some analysts have been hyping up based on early responses from telecom carriers. (And no, not everyone is so keen on RIM's upcoming unveiling, anticipating it to be little or no better than the company's last effort – BlackBerry 7).
Research In Motion has seen its market share decline – in the enterprise, but particularly in the consumer segment – over the past few years as both Apple's iPhone and Android devices from Samsung, HTC and others have dominated the mobile landscape. And with new Windows 8-based phones from Nokia and others, there's even more competition for the once-great Canadian phone-maker that's been laboring.
BlackBerry 10 will probably be make or break for RIM, which has benefitted from a rising stock price in recent weeks due to anticipation of the new operating system. But if the new phones don't sell well, don't be surprised to see RIM on the auction block.