Owners of BlackBerry Bold 9000 and BlackBerry Curve 8900 handsets can now download a pre-release beta version of the forthcoming software update for the high-end handsets.
An early-stage working model of BlackBerry OS 5.0 can be accessed by clicking on links available online, with new features including support for Google Gears.
This permits users to access a selection of web-based services while they are offline.
Further improvements are a more polished feel compared with OS 4.6 and the addition of a file browser that lets BlackBerry owners gain access to documents both on the device as well as on shared network drives.
However, users should be aware that the leaked edition is missing some functions that are likely to be on the official version.
The success of the BlackBerry Bold and Curve 8900 handsets helped manufacturer Research in Motion (RIM) to record significantly better than expected sales for the fourth quarter of last year.
RIM posted profits of $518.2 million for the period, representing a 26 per cent increase compared with the same quarter last year.
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