BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha fetches $999 on eBay

Dev Alpha eBay
By Adam Zeis on 1 Jan 2013 09:57 am EST

In years past we've seen pre-release devices show up on eBay weeks before an official launch. Some of them may or may not have shown up at a certain BlackBerry lover's doorstep - but that's old news. While I've been anxiously searching auction sites for an early BlackBerry 10 device (there are none to be found so don't bother) it turns out that there are a few BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha units available -- if you have the funds. 

While it's not really a good practice to sell a device labeled Not for Sale (and we definitely don't condone it), it doesn't seem to stop some people. There were recently not one, but two Dev Alphas that sold on eBay for $900 and $999. Now I'm all for getting my hands on the latest and greatest, but coughing up nearly $1000 for a developer unit seems like a bit much, no?. Especially since there is less than a month until the BlackBerry 10 launch event

It doesn't look like there are any other devices currently up for auction, so if you're looking to go hands-on with BlackBerry 10 you'll just have to wait for the real thing.

Adam Zeis Adam Zeis "Mobile Nations Content Strategist" 3740 (articles) 2892 (forum posts)

Reader comments

BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha fetches $999 on eBay


Not only is it not good practice, its also illegal. The device is still owned by RIM and therefore that person does not have the right to sell it.

It is either stolen, or it becomes stolen if someone buys it.

Everyone who got one of those devices, had to sign an agreement, it was not a gift, it was a loan.

I doubt it's "illegal", seems a bit far fetched that a crime has been committed. Even if one has, it's doubtful that they will be charged with anything. The seller is opening themselves up to a civil lawsuit, however.

Not illegal per se, but when you receive a DA you sign an agreement not to sell it among other things.

So at minimum, it's breach of contract and actionable civilly...

And since it is property of RIM, there may be an argument to be made for selling stolen property, which is criminal...

I would say the "Property of Research in Motion Limited, All Rights Reservered, Evaluation Unit, Not for Sale or Lease", should have stopped the seller.

It is clearly illegal to buy/sell something that is exclusively marked as "not for sale". That is the whole purpose of throwing a big bold "not for sale" stamp on it. I am also doubtful that either party will be prosecuted though

For an action to be illegal, a law must be broken. Simply writing "not for sale" on a device, and it being sold, is not a punishable crime.

In fact each country has different laws and criminal definitions. What is (or is not) a law in USA does not mean Canada, Japan, China, England, or many other countries where RIM may have handed out these units has the same laws and definitions of criminalality. So saying its not illegal is not as simple as you make it seem.


However, I'd still be very surprised if any criminal charges will (or can) be placed. Typical non-disclosure agreements lay out the potential civil penalties of breaking the NDA. You cannot create a criminal penalty in a civil agreement.

Plenty of the CrackBerry people have dev units, and copies of the agreement they signed. They may or may not be able to say what the penalties are.

It is excellent evidence that the seller knew the true legal title to the device, and that he was not permitted to sell someone else's property. That makes it some variant of theft/fraud/etc in almost every jurisdiction in the world. The only escape clause might be that he didn't understand because it is only in english.


Conversion comes to mind, given that there was a fully disclosed agreement. There might be a form of trespass in there, as well.

I'm pretty that when RIM/Blackberry asks for the Dev Alpha back and the seller can't produce it, RIM will charge the seller or something.

This is definitely not a good practice. I thought the devs will return this unit in exchange for a limited edition of BB10.

In any case Happy New Year everyone.


It should be easy enough for RIM to find out who had that Dev Alpha with the serial number shown. If I was RIM I wouldn't allow that phone to be traded in on a BB10 model. It says "Not For Sale" for a reason.

Notice the words "NOT FOR SALE" clearly shown in the product photograph. Apparently neither the seller nor the buyer can read English.

Wait, what!? Where did you hear that? Meaning that if I don't qualify for the trade up program I'll be stuck with a paperweight ? I just thought that it would never get final version of the soft allowing for the use of cell data etc.

That's what I thought, just staying as is with no useful consumer functionality but still having all the key developer tools needed.

Similar to back in September when the devices got disabled (due to the original planned release of the BB10 for 2012 Q4), the newfirmware will likely disable the Dev Alpha some time in the next few months around the time BB10 gets released.

So yes, if you do not trade it in, you will likely be stuck with a paper weight unless you can root it.

If I'm not mistaken these devalpha devices don't even have full use of all the features? It's this type of thing that ruins it for evryone!

I'm sure by now RIM has tracked the buyer/seller. Surprised EBay let the sale go through.

My head hurts and I'm dizzy,,welcome 2013,lol.

Yes they do, we had experienced it before, you might recall that crackberry did an article about that a while back, that was because BlackBerry 10 devices were supposed to be released in Q4 2012.

Of course: you can have faith in the combination of greed and stupidity. First a thickhead will purchase the device, then the seller will get problems cause of receiving stolen goods, he will reveal the shopper (for a mitigation of sentence) and after throwing the device against his kitchen wall (cause of inability of access) the local police will ring at the shoppers door... Selfdestruction complete...!:-)

This device will time out and become useless in a few months, so I am not sure that it is worth the money.

The seller is also losing the chance to turn it in exchange for the release developer device...

With only a couple of weeks left, the seller might have accepted/decided that they aren't going to get in an app to get the trade-up anyway so may as well get something out of it.

Who the he'll said that they will brick? So many people have been saying that. I don't believe it will. Go on eBay and look for at nokia lumia dev units are for sale for hundreds more than a new lumia. I just keep hearing people say oh oh oh it will stop working. It's hardware you can always wipe and put BB10 on it. You may have to crack it but it's possible.

We’ve confirmed that upon BlackBerry 10 going official, your Dev Alpha will automatically brick itself. Therefore, rending the Dev Alpha no longer useable.

The dev alpha had an earlier issue where the 'brick' screen showed up and RIM had to send an update out cause the 'brick' screen came up too early.

Seriously, I wonder about the thought process about both parties involved......humm. Maybe a collectors item?

I think you hit it on the nail with your second sentence. Whether costly or working or not, these things matter little to a collector. However, the legality of it certainly is in interesting case.

What Ebay will allow for a few shekels!! Shame on all parties involved. This is the crap thats tearing down trust!!

I think it is unreasonable for you or anyone else to expect eBay to catch one small fish in a big pond. On the other hand, if the seller would have put "illegal sale" or "stolen goods" as the item name or description, it would have been a bit different.

That's stupid.
Even as a collector, its value will drop next to nothing once the 6K+ devices will come back to RIM. Add the auto-lock feature and the special edition exchange ... I Don't get it. Smells like a pigeon here.

I would buy a devb for $100-200. I'd like to just have something rare, and then I could throw my ipod in the garbage.

look at them tryin to sell this old JUNK... we want BB10 not alpha and devs lol,,,, besides bb10 will b cheaper

I expect RIM security bought it, is getting the seller's info, and then will arrange for EBay to cancel the sale and ban the seller for selling property that isn't theirs to sell. Or something like that... Is there really anyone ignorant enough to spend >$900 for one of these when we know it will be a brick in about a month?

"I expect RIM security bought it, is getting the seller's info, and then will arrange for EBay to cancel the sale and ban the seller for selling property that isn't theirs to sell. Or something like that... Is there really anyone ignorant enough to spend >$900 for one of these when we know it will be a brick in about a month?" - peter9477

Good point, you may be 100% correct.

thats ok..but i want to know then what will be the cost of the original launched model..aplle i phone 5 is nearly 1100$ in india...and bold 9900 which i purchased three months back cost me..$ any idea what it will cost the z10 model

I thought the device was going to be made unusable after the 31st, so isn't this 900 dollars spent on a piece of (rather beuatiful) plastic and metal only usable for 30 days?

I can't believe some jack ass coughed up that much money for something that's going to brick....why not wait spend less and get fully functional  10 phone in a few weeks!?

Just thought, maybe they wanted to try and scam RIM (IIMMMPPPOOOSSIBBLLEE)and get the speacial adition BB10 even though they're not a developer

And if i remember right, RIM reserves the right to lock the unit from being used for BES etc. Correct me if I'm wrong.

bet the sell wasn't a developer.
Bet he was one of those people that went and lurk off a free playbook during the SF DevCon also and resell on ebay.
And now went to SJ to lurk off another Dev Phone to resell for his own benefits.

Just because it appeared sold doesn't mean the buyer actually paid for it.. They could have backed out of the sale.

$1,000.00 is cheap. When BB10. Comes out, people will pay $2,000.00 because this phone is well worth it. It will be the only phone one should buy. Everything else is old and stale.

Looks like the auction was completely ripped down, so it's likely someone contacted eBay and let them know this was an illegal auction.

Bastards. I hope They got caught and jailed, I hope they did, because they deserve to. NOT FOR SALE, isn't that too obvious and not TOO hard to read?

If I were RIM I would buy any and all Dev devices that go on sale on eBay and demand the developers who they gave them to to return them or face paying a fee that is so high they can't possibly pay it. Then sue them once they claim they have lost or had the device stolen from them.


Its criminal to Buy/Sell or facilitate the Buying or Selling (either directly or indirectly)of a property dubbed "NOT FOR SAlE" be it in East Indo- China & cummunist Russia,Africa & Middle-East or Western Europe & the Americas.
You can call it;
•illegal Possession of property (stolen/otherwise)
•Criminal breach of trust.
• dubious sell of good or out-right theft
One fact remains, its morally wrong & legally criminal to either directly or indirectly be engaged by anymeans necessary in the sales or buyying of property not properly owned by either of the parties involved in the transaction.

Had my Dev alpha C stolen ( in ontario, canada) someone posted that they might have ought it. Anything I can do about it.