Report: RIM working on a tablet, new touchscreen phone

Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) is testing a tablet device as well as a new touchscreen smartphone, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.  The BlackBerry maker appears to be trying to keep pace with its rivals, including Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) with its iPad tablet

According to the report, which cited unnamed sources familiar with the matter, RIM is developing a new touchscreen smartphone with a slide-out keyboard that mimics the gestures of Apple's iPhone and runs on RIM's new BlackBerry operating system, which it unveiled in April. Additionally, the report said, RIM is in the early stages of developing a tablet that will be tethered to a BlackBerry phone and may be released as early as year-end.

A RIM spokeswoman declined to comment. The company has said it plans to roll out a phone running on the new OS--which features an improved WebKit-based browser, a revamped media player and a more intuitive user experience--in the third quarter. The company has not previously discussed a tablet product. "So, I think at this point if you have to take the whole thing into consideration, you can't say what's the market for tablets in exclusion of the other devices, you have to put the whole thing together and I don't think it's that clear yet," RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis said at a tech conference in Toronto in April. 

In other tablet news, Samsung provided more specifics on its plans. "We are planning to launch a table computer called 'Galaxy Tab,'" J.K. Shin, the president of Samsung's mobile communications division, told Dow Jones Newswires in an interview. "It will be launched no later than the third quarter of this year." The company had previously said it would release a tablet in the second half of this year. The Galaxy Tab is rumored to run on Google's Android platform.   

For more:
- see this WSJ article (sub. req.)
- see this Engadget post
- see this WSJ article (sub. req.)

Related Articles:
RIM to launch BlackBerry OS 6.0 in Q3
The temperature of tablets: How the mobile industry is responding to the iPad
Samsung confirms tablet for later this year
Android, Windows square off in tablet arena

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