Published in Mobiles

BlackBerry slider in development


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We know little beyond the codename

RIM has been moving over the last year or so away from only offering the traditional BlackBerry model types and branching out to keep up with the latest trends in the industry in design. To that end we have seen the Flip and the Storm as examples of RIM adding both touchscreen and flip-phone offerings to the lineup to meet the taste of consumers.

The latest trend that has been around for some time is the “slider” technology where the keyboard or keypad slides out from under the phone, leaving a more streamlined screen with minimal buttons for access when the keyboard or keypad are not needed.

RIM, it seems, has heard the cries from many that have wanted the company to develop a BlackBerry with “slider” functionality, and the company has been working on such a device. We finally heard from one of our sources today who tells us that the BlackBerry slider project had been green lighted to continue and move forward under the codename of Nautilus.

We know little about the Nautilus beyond the fact that it will be a 3G BlackBerry offering that will feature slider functionality. While some have suggested to us that it could be a thicker marriage of what you would get if you added slider functionality to the Storm, we tend to think that the end result will reflect this result.

Perhaps the more interesting whispers that we are hearing about the Nautilus are that, like the Storm and Bold, it is likely to be an exclusive model to start out with. While we don’t know for sure if the Nautilus is actually GSM, what is interesting is the insistence from our operatives that AT&T might be driving the development of the product from the standpoint of wanting an exclusive BlackBerry slider to compete with the BlackBerry Storm on Verizon and the Palm Pre at Sprint.

We do think it is unlikely that we will see the Nautilus this year. It is more likely that Nautilus will arrive next year; and at least in the U.S. we are now already predicting that it will be exclusive to AT&T to start with when it arrives.

Last modified on 18 June 2009
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