RIM unveils pricey Porsche-designed BlackBerry P'9981

Looks like a robot

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RIM has launched the Porsche Design P'9981 smartphone from BlackBerry, a BlackBerry smartphone that has, unsurprisingly, been designed by Porsche.

It's not the first time that the middle-class car-manufacturer beloved by the upwardly mobile has turned its hand to mobile phone design, but it is the first time its futuristic style and sharp racing angles have made their way to a BlackBerry.

The handset comes running BlackBerry OS 7 featuring an exclusive Porsche Design UI and bespoke augmented reality app. Given that designers and car manufacturers really know what they're talking about when it comes to smartphone UIs, we're sure this will be marvellous.

BlackBerry Boxster

The P'9981 features a full physical QWERTY keyboard with traditional RIM sculpting as well as a touchscreen, much like the BlackBerry Bold Touch 9900.

Apparently the "exclusive material choices" include a stainless steel frame (remind us to introduce Porsche Design to our kitchen sinks some time) and a hand-wrapped leather back cover (see above, re. shoes).

As if that wasn't horrendously pretentious enough, the smartphones also come with premium PINs, so you can identify other P'9981 owners and avoid mixing with the commoners on BBM.

Under the hood (see what we've done there?) you'll find a 1.2GHz processor and 8GB of on-board memory with a microSD slot for extra space.

BlackBerry 911

As a company, Porsche Design reckons it "stands for products that combine functional, timeless and puristic design with impressive technical innovations" so quite why it's suddenly decided to partner with RIM, we couldn't tell you.

"The Porsche Design P'9981 is a truly modern luxury smartphone where the timeless style of Porsche Design meets the unmatched mobile experience provided by BlackBerry," said Todd Wood, SVP of industrial design at RIM.

That unmatched experience can be yours for the not insignificant sum of approximately £1250. Or you can buy an iPhone and a robot. Your choice.