Research in Motion (RIM) is planning on giving developers prototype BlackBerry 10 devices ahead of its launch.
The firm is set to launch its next generation operating system in the second half of this year so wants to give developers a head start on getting apps ready, according to Reuters.
Alex Kinsella, social media manager at RIM said: "It's not the final hardware or OS - it's a device to help developers get started with designing for what's coming."
To avoid details of an upcoming handset getting leaked the device will not be launched for consumers to buy. It is called the BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha and will be given out at RIM's annual BlackBerry World conference in May, in Florida.
BlackBerry 10 will be similar to the operating system which runs on its PlayBook tablet called QNX. It will run on both the tablet and smartphones.
RIM is always keen to get developers on board with its software, recently giving away PlayBooks at its first Developer Conference in Europe and offering the tablet to developers who port over Android apps to its BlackBerry App World.