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Tech Rumor of the Day: RIM

Analysts and gadgets may get a surprise product introduction at RIM's upcoming symposium.


Research In Motion


gets set to open its annual Wireless Enterprise Symposium in Orlando next week, analysts and gadget fans are expecting an introduction to the BlackBerry Niagara.

This will sound


to Tech Rumor readers who may recall that

reported last month that the Niagara, a so-called 3G world phone, meaning it works on U.S. and European networks, will be available in May at


(VZ) - Get Free Report


But while the Niagara announcement is expected, RIM has another product surprise in store. Apparently the BlackBerry maker will also unveil Apex, a flip phone for Verizon, according to a source familiar with the company.

The Apex is also a 3G phone and similar to the Pearl Flip at

Deutsche Telekom's

(DT) - Get Free Report

U.S. wireless unit


, according to the source.

Assuming there are no delays, the arrival of two new BlackBerries in May will help both RIM and Verizon gain some ground ahead of several hotly anticipated new smartphones expected in the coming months.


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is expected to introduce a new iPhone this summer. And



is due to unveil the eagerly awaited Pre phone as early as next month.

And, come fall,


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is expected to

introduce three

touchscreen smartphones aimed directly at Apple and RIM.

The Apex and Niagara could give Verizon a boost as sales of the BlackBerry Storm cool off. Plus, the popular Curve has now been around for a year.

Verizon, which became the largest wireless telco in the U.S. with the acquisition of


, has been the subject of recent speculation as big names like Apple and


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have reportedly been

interested in discussing smartphone plans


The WES show starts Tuesday and runs through Thursday.