Blackberry 9800 Roll-Out Soon; Tablet Launch By Year-End

June 15, 2010, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

The Blackberry 9800 slider phone from Research In Motion will soon be available in stores but consumers will have to wait for the RIM tablet as the device will only be available by the end of 2010, according to company insiders.

The RIM tablet, which the company will launch by December, is likely to feature an 8.9-inch touchscreen. It will however, act only as a companion device to the Blackberry handset as it is not equipped with cellular networking. So, it will have to connect via Bluetooth to the Blackberry phone or rely on the WiFi radio that is built in the device. Users will be able to get a larger view with the tablet, which will be a slave device to the phone.

It is also believed that RIM is experimenting on the design for the tablet and will even attempt to launch the device before December, if possible. The company’s venture into the tablet market comes after its earlier reluctance to create tablets saying that it did not want to simply create a device that replaced notebook computers.

The Blackberry 9800 phone that will be releasing soon, will be equipped with a multitouch screen which will slide to reveal a QWERTY keypad underneath. A 5 megapixel camera will also be present on the phone along with 802.11n WiFi.  It will run on the 6.0 version of the Blackberry OS and is likely to be available on AT&T’s network by July or August. However, the phone does not contain a front-facing camera, large built-in storage capacity or ultra-high resolution screen.

It remains to be seen if the 9800 handset can revive RIM’s market share which has been declining slowly on account of the increasing popularity of iPhone and Android handsets.

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