Research In Motion Testing Tablet, Touchscreen Smartphone

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RIM's BlackBerry smartphone lineup may soon be joined by a large-screen tablet device, as well as a touchscreen-based smartphone with a slide-out keypad, according the Journal. Reportedly, a RIM tablet could arrive by year's end. The RIM tablet would reportedly connect to cellular networks through a BlackBerry handset, and could hit stores in time for the holiday shopping season.

While a tablet could be a nice addition to RIM's BlackBerry portfolio, analyst Ken Hyers, with Technology Business Research, told eWEEK that "much will depend on the ability of the new BlackBerry 6 OS to provide a engaging experience. The Storm touch-screen was not terribly exciting, but the new OS promises to be much nicer, incorporating features like swipe and pinch-to-zoom. A larger tablet, with the ability to link to key enterprise productivity apps, could be a very useful accessory for the business traveler."