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BlackBerry London – what you need to know

For BlackBerry, and manufacturer RIM, 2011 will be a year to forget. It was a year where the once hugely popular mobile phone company saw many users make the switch to Android or Apple.

We had drops in sales, a catastrophic signal failure, and a couple of CEOs abandoning ship. And now we have the most telling sign that a company is in trouble: a slashing of prices for its Playbook tablet.

Of course, BlackBerry is by no means dead. Far from it. But it does need to have a decent twelve months this year to put it back on track and competing with the likes of Apple and Samsung.

The PlayBook 2 is rumoured for a possible launch at Mobile World Congress later this month, and looks set to be quite an impressive piece of kit. But then again, aren’t all new tablets this year going to be?

And in terms of smartphones, there is an exciting new one on the horizon for BlackBerry, in the form of the BlackBerry London.

Odd name, we know. But nothing about the new BlackBerry phone is usual. With so many users flocking to the various Android devices, what have BlackBerry done? They’ve created a very Android-esque phone, of course.

It is a bold move, but one that could really work wonders for BlackBerry. So what do you need to know about this new direction?

BlackBerry London design

Despite no official announcement of the new phone, photos of the London have been ‘leaked’ so many times it feels as though it’s been on sale for ages.

In case you haven’t seen the pictures, think Playbook but smaller. The full QWERTY keyboard is gone, in favour of a 3.7 inch touchscreen.

BlackBerry London specs

Rumoured to be touting a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, as well as 16GB of internal storage, the London may not set the market on fire in terms of specs, but it is also likely to be the first smartphone running the BB 10 OS – promising an improved user experience and better app offerings.