RIM BlackBerry 10 Rumors Ramp Up

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - We're just over a week away from Research in Motion's ( RIMM) big announcement and the rumors continue to fly.

The next-generation BlackBerry smartphones will run on a greatly revised operating system named BlackBerry 10. TheStreet has seen early versions of the software in operation and we've been very impressed.

The people in the know at RIM have been bragging that they've gotten a large number of developers on board so far. So many, in fact, that they've extended the cash incentive to keep those new apps coming in. It's a $10,000 incentive that will now expire on Feb. 18. RIM says it received more than 19,000 new app submissions in the last weekend alone. The Canadian handset maker expects the number to increase as soon as the new devices are officially announced.

We're also hearing rumors that the BlackBerry App Store will get a refresh, along with a new app store that will showcase and house all the new apps that are on the way.

As for hardware, there's a video that has surfaced on the Web that purportedly shows what could be the next BlackBerry phone in action. It's somewhat difficult to tell what the Z10, believed to be the name that RIM has chosen for the new phone, actually looks like, but the software seems correct from what we've already seen.

We also know that the Z10 name is probably correct because someone thinks they found a reference to that model number on a "leaked" Verizon ( VZ) Web page. There's been no confirmation by either company so far.

But, the biggest news of all comes from the Germany's Die Welt via Reuters. Reportedly, RIM CEO Thorsten Heins told an interviewer that once the new phone (or phones) are released, the company would be open to "alliances" with other companies, either via a sale of RIM's hardware production or licensing of its software.

We'll hear a lot more about RIM's exact plans after its big announcement, next Wednesday, here in New York City.

--Written by Gary Krakow in New York.

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Gary Krakow is TheStreet's senior technology correspondent.