As part of its ongoing efforts to revive the struggling BlackBerry platform, RIM has announced plans to give away smartphones at its BlackBerry World conference in May. The mobile devices will run on RIM's forthcoming BlackBerry 10 operating system, but neither the hardware nor the OS will be in a finished state. RIM hopes that by giving the hardware to developers, it will spur the creation of apps for the platform ahead of the launch. Most existing BlackBerry apps will need to be rewritten in order to work on BlackBerry 10.
Last year, RIM gave away 5,000 PlayBook tablets at another development conference, but so far, that has not led to a jump in apps available for the PlayBook.