Leap is a cheaper option for consumers who want a touch screen but don't want to pay a higher price as in the case of an iPhone or Samsung Galaxy phone.

It's the first touch screen phone from the company since it launched the Z30 more than a year-and-a-half ago.

Usually, BlackBerry sets with a keyboard are more popular with the company's business-centric clientele and it has focused on releasing models like the Passport and Classic.

Features on the Leap include a 25-hour battery life and an eight-megapixel camera, according to reports.

The company says wireless carriers will offer BlackBerry Leap for free when users sign a two-year contract, or it can be purchased without a contract for $349.

Higher-end smartphones, including some alternative BlackBerry devices, tend to cost $400 to $900 with a contract, depending on the model.

BlackBerry also announced that T-Mobile, one of the big US wireless carriers, will begin stocking its BlackBerry Classic model starting next week.