Published in Mobiles

BlackBerry slider looks very likely


More details bring the device into focus

maker Research In Motion (or RIM, for short) is continuing its trend to respond to user requests for additional BlackBerry form factors. Beyond the typical “candy bar” shaped BlackBerry models, we have seen the company introduce a “flip” model as well as a “touch screen” model, among others. As we previously explained, our moles have told us that the company has been developing a “slider” form factor, as well, in order to keep up with the popularity that the “slider” form factor has been gaining with other manufacturers.

Sources have been pretty tight lipped as to exactly what this “slider” form factor might encompass. Now the chatter has increased and we now have a better idea of what RIM could be planning to offer in a BlackBerry “slider,” but our sources caution us that the development is still in the early stages and the exact specifications are still in flux.

Here is what we have been told about the Blackberry “slider” so far: the “slider” currently favors a portrait orientation and if it does go in the direction of having a touchscreen, it would likely be similar to a Storm 9520 with a Bold-type slide up keyboard that style-wise looks similar in many ways to the Palm Pre. The actual physical layout of the device favors a very mixed approach. It borrows the best from Blackberry, Palm Pre, and some HTC devices and combines them.

What the actual specifications will end up looking like are anyone’s guess at this point. From the whispers we hear, the targets are for it to run exclusively BlackBerry OS 6, GSM/HSPA support to start with CDMA/EVDO later on, and will likely offer 802.11n wireless ability. Because of the form factor and design that they are developing at the moment, expect it for now to offer a 360x480 display; however, this might change, but that seems unlikely.

From what we are told, a lot of what you are seeing here is what the BlackBerry Magnum/Dakota has evolved into. While we have no reason to think that RIM has killed off the idea of a higher-end touch screen Bold model, it looks like this slider might be what RIM will go with first, as there is a belief that the slider segment is growing so far that RIM needs a model in this segment. Our feeling is that you will still see a high-end touch screen member of the Bold product line at some point this year.

Last modified on 01 March 2010
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