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Research in Motion Working on Touchscreen BlackBerry Phone

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Research in Motion is reported to be working on a range of new smartphones, including its first touchscreen models. One model is reported to have a slide out keyboard, and 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, people close to the company told the Wall Street Journal.

In addition to the physical slide-out keyboard, the new phone is said to also support virtual keyboard options via the touchscreen.

RIM has previously said that it will start selling a new device later this year running on an updated operating system and supporting an improved browser. The OS, nicknamed BlackBerry OS 6.0 was been shown in April and has been designed to address complaints that the Blackberry user interface was looking dated and clunky compared to Apple's iPhone.

The company is also said to be working on a larger tablet style device, and although still in prototype phase, it could be released by the end of this year.

RIM is also readying a new Internet browser that renders Web pages much faster than the current browser, and allows users to access more than one Web page at a time, people familiar with the device told the newspaper.

On the web: Wall Street Journal

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Tags: research in motion  rim  blackberry  touchscreen  os