Rumor Mill: RIM readying Qwerty slider device, refreshed OS

Research In Motion is working on a slider device that would represent a new design for the BlackBerry smartphone maker, according to a post on the blog Boy Genius Report.

According to the blog, the device will be similar to the Palm Pre and will run Blackberry OS 6.0. The device is also said to be a GSM/HSPA device and have WiFi 802.11n. It is unclear whether the phone has a touchscreen. This is not the first time rumors of such a device have popped up; earlier this month, a device code-named Magnum made the online rounds.

Interestingly, an unrelated post from BerryScoop offers a glimpse at what could be RIM's next operating system upgrade. The post, citing a RIM webinar, shows what appears to be a redesigned RIM UI that features built-in location awareness, availability awareness and real-time updating of events as they happen.

A RIM spokeswoman said the company's standard policy to not to comment on rumor and speculation.

Critics have argued Research In Motion, the dominant smartphone player in the United States, has failed to keep up with touchscreen and Web-browsing advances made by Apple's iPhone and others. And RIM appears to have taken some of those criticisms to heart. At last week's Mobile World Congress trade show, the firm unveiled a new WebKit-based browser in a bid to attract a wider audience to the BlackBerry platform. The company has not said when the browser will be available.

For more:
- see this BerryScoop post
- see this Boy Genius Report post

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