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RIM Set To Launch New Smartphone & Tablet Device?

Canadian manufacturer Research in Motion is reportedly preparing a few devices that it hopes will help it catch up with touchscreen devices from competitors like Apple or HTC.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the company behind the Blackberry is trialling a new touchscreen device that comes with a slideout keyboard which will run an updated version of the Blackberry OS.

Amongst the most significant features of the device will be a universal search bar, which appears to be similar to Apple's Spotlight, pinch to zoom capability and the implicit support for multi touch. WSJ goes as far as saying that it works much like an iPhone.

RIM is also working on a new tablet device that reports say will be a companion to the yet to be announced Blackberry smartphone. Unlike the iPad, it won't be a standalone model but will depend on the new device to connect to the internet.

Earlier rumours pointed to a 8.9-inch tablet computer with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. it is likely that the Blackberry Tablet will be using a special version of the Blackberry OS.

This reminds us of the now defunct Palm Foleo which served the same purpose (a.k.a being a Mobile Companion) for Palm OS and Windows Mobile smartphones. Announced in May 2007, it was discarded by Palm in September 2007.