BB10 dev alpha handsets appear on eBay

Can’t wait a full four weeks for BlackBerry 10 to arrive? Have somewhere in the region of $1000 (£613) to spend? Well fear not, as eBay may have the answer.

As reported initially by CrackBerry, the online auction site has a few BB10 dev alpha devices on show, rarer than hen’s teeth and something of a second prize with actual BB10 phones not available and the official launch date set for January 30.

Of course it’s worth stressing that selling something with a big ‘not for sale’ sign slapped on it isn’t the wisest thing to do – and buying something with a big ‘not for sale’ sign slapped on it is hardly recommended either.

And if the temptation for a BlackBerry developer kit proves too much, if things go wrong then it’s a lot of money to lose with no warranty in place.

But it’s not uncommon to see leaked operating system prototypes made available in the weeks leading up to a full release. Back in May, RIM gave around 2000 attendees dev alpha handsets at the BlackBerry World conference in Florida, to allow developers to test drive BB10 apps.

At the time of publication, eBay has two BB10 dev alpha devices for auction – one used, and the other new. One other device sold on December 31 went for $999.99.

So is it worth spending the better part of $1000 on a developer-friendly handset when the real thing is out in less than a month’s time? The general consensus appears to be not, with CrackBerry’s Adam Zeis writing: “Now I’m all for getting my hands on the latest and greatest, but coughing up nearly $1000 for a developer unit seems like a bit much, no?”

Elsewhere, two BB10 devices have been approved by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulatory database. One device given federal approval appears to be compatible with AT&T’s LTE (long term evolution) band.

Perhaps understandably, there has been plenty of rumour and conjecture concerning what the OS entails, along with the device it’s stored in. Leaked marketing material to Unwired View from “a reliable source” showed a touch screen handset, in both black and white, called BlackBerry Z10.

Similarly, preliminary pictures have been revealed of the more conventional QWERTY keyboard device, called the X10.

Which device would you prefer to use and why?

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