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London calling with BlackBerry 10 smartphone

First model (London) will be available in UK, followed by Laguna and Lisbon devices in the U.S., analysts say

Research in Motion's incipient BlackBerry 10 smartphone , code-named London, has a thin and long design, according a photo obtained by CrackBerry.com.

While the shape of the London device appears similar to the iPhone 4S (though possibly longer), RIM's depiction of the device in a slide presentation -- "London is about changing the game" may be a more telling description.

The photo surfaced yesterday amid a dramatic few days at RIM that began last week with the appointment of Thorsten Heins to replace the company's controversial co-CEOs. Heins immediately said the traditional enterprise smartphone maker will boost its focus on marketing and the consumer market.

The slide on CrackBerry.com showing London says the industrial design will be "elegant, understated, precise, solid, slim" and that the smartphone is the "ultimate communication device" with "exceptional power and efficiency."

London will be released in the UK, where RIM's BlackBerry is still the top-selling smartphone, according to CrackBerry.

Two other BlackBerry 10 models, code-named Laguna and Lisbon, are being developed for U.S. carriers AT&T, Verizon Wireless and Sprint, according to various reports.

The U.S. has become RIM's toughest market, where traditional IT shops that deployed BlackBerry devices for years are increasingly allowing workers to use Apple iOS or Android devices on the job.

The BlackBerry 10 phones will run 1.5 dual core processors, presumably from Texas Instruments or Qualcomm, according to various reports.

By the time BlackBerry 10 smartphones hit the market in late 2012, however, some analysts wondered if a 1.5 dual core will be powerful enough to compete with fast-advancing competitive offerings.

The London smartphone concept first appeared last November as an angular design, according to a photo that appeared on The Verge at the time.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen , or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed . His e-mail address is [email protected] .

Read more about mobile and wireless in Computerworld's Mobile and Wireless Topic Center.

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