tablet? It may happen. RIM has already proven that they
aren't afraid of venturing into a world dominated by touch panels, as we
have seen with the Storm
and Storm2 smartphones. And while the
company's bread and butter is definitely QWERTY-equipped business
phones, no one is saying they can't expand their horizons a bit.
According to a Wall Street Journal report, they may in fact be ready to
expand. Sources are saying that RIM is "testing a touch-screen
smartphone with a slide-out keyboard," which will run a "new version of
the BlackBerry operating system" (we're guessing BlackBerry OS 6
will "work much like an iPhone." The tablet would allow users to "swipe
through screens and expand images with their fingers," and it has a
"universal search bar that lets users scour all the phone's data and
data online as well."
But creating a rival to the iPad
isn't all that RIM's working on; these
same sources suggest that the company may be working on "a tablet device
to serve as a larger-screen companion to its BlackBerry
phone," and that one will certainly have 3G connectivity and may end up
on sale before the end of 2010. RIM is obviously not responding to
rumors, but rarely does the WSJ play around with such matters.
A new device coupled with the launch of a new OS seems like a great
move; the iPad shipped just a few months before iOS 4, so RIM may decide
to do one better and actually ship a new tablet or two with an all-new
OS. BlackBerry has faded somewhat in popularity (in terms of sheer buzz)
at the hands of iPhone and Android--this might be the device that
brings 'em back in a big, big way.