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Vietnamese forum leaks photos of alleged BlackBerry 10 L-series smartphone

RIM's BlackBerry 10 operating system is not set to make its debut until late January, but photos of a smartphone that reportedly runs the new OS have been leaked online.

Eighteen pictures of the phone, dubbed the L-Series, showed up today on a Vietnamese forum, with shots of the device from all angles; front screen, back panel, battery, USB port, and more.

"Today I was lucky to get it," user wrote in a message under an image of the sleek BlackBerry phone, adding that the name of the photographer could not be released.

RIM is set to launch BB10 and unveil new handsets on 30 January. While RIM has provided developers and reporters with some hands-on time with BB10, few details about its new smartphones have been released. The company has seeded the touch-screen BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha and the QWERTY BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha C to developers to try out the OS, though.

The L-Series seems to include the play/pause toggle button, hiding in the middle of the volume rocker on the right side of the phone, while micro-USB and micro-HDMI ports balance out the left side.

BlackBerry 10 SDK

Meanwhile, RIM has released the "gold" build of the BlackBerry 10 developer toolkit, including all final tools, components, and APIs for developers to play with, including building blocks for native C/C++ and Qt developers, as well as those working with HTML5.

"We have been actively engaged with developers from around the world for many months and as we near the final weeks toward the launch of BlackBerry 10, the growing dedication and commitment we see from our developer community is truly outstanding," RIM's Alec Saunders said in a statement.

The new OS was unveiled in May during RIM's BlackBerry World conference in Florida. At the time, CEO Thorsten Heins had been on the job for just three months, but said he was ready to take the phone maker to the next level. In less than 60 days, the world will find out whether he can deliver.