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RIM Tests New BlackBerry, Tablet: Report

Research In Motion 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, a report says.

WATERLOO, Ontario (

TheStreet

) --

Research In Motion

(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

(AAPL) - Get Report

iPhone and iPad, the

Journal

notes.

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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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