RIM Tests New BlackBerry, Tablet: Report

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WATERLOO, Ontario (TheStreet) -- Research In Motion (Stock Quote: RIMM) is testing a touch-screen smartphone with a slide-out keyboard and is experimenting with a tablet device to serve as a larger-screen companion to its BlackBerry phone, the Wall Street Journal reports.

RIM's moves are intended to keep the BlackBerry smartphone from losing more ground to touch-screen devices like Apple's (Stock Quote: AAPL) iPhone and iPad, the Journal notes.

RIM's touch-screen smartphone 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, the Journal says, citing people familiar with the company's plans.

The tablet device, in the early stages of development, will connect to cellular networks via a BlackBerry phone, according to these people. It could come out as soon as the end of 2010, the Journal reports.

A RIM spokeswoman told the Journal the company doesn't comment on rumors and speculation.

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel in New York.

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