RIM is testing a new touch-screen smartphone with a slide-out keyboard, according to people familiar with the device. The phone runs on a new version of the BlackBerry operating system and works much like an iPhone, letting users swipe through screens and expand images with their fingers, these people say. It also has a universal search bar that lets users scour all the phone’s data and some data online as well, these people say.
RIM is also experimenting with a tablet device to serve as a larger-screen companion to its BlackBerry phone, say people familiar with RIM’s plans. That device, which’s in an early stage of development, will connect to cellular networks via a BlackBerry phone, these people say. It could come out as soon as the end of the year, these people say.
A RIM spokeswoman said the company doesn’t comment on rumors and speculation.