New BlackBerry may target the iPhone

Rumours circulate that next year's 9000-series BlackBerry smartphones may be firmly pitched at the same demographic as Apple's iPhone

The makers of the BlackBerry smartphone may be working on a rival to Apple's iPhone, reports suggest.

Research In Motion (RIM) has traditionally been a very business-focused manufacturer, but has recently moved more into the mainstream with its "Pearl" handsets. Now, according to an analyst, the Canadian company may be hoping to take on Apple's new entrant in the mobile space with its upcoming 9000-series.

"The 9000 is supposed to be a touchscreen device, very similar in form factor to the iPhone," said Carmi Levy, of AR Communications, in an interview with the publication Unstrung. "Which means that it is not an enterprise-friendly device."

According to Levy, the 9000-series was originally due to appear towards the end of this year, but has now been put back until 2008. The phones will be RIM's first without a keyboard of some variety, and will also incorporate enhanced multimedia capabilities, Levy claimed. He added that RIM would continue to produce the keyboard-sporting models for which it is famous.

A spokesperson for RIM told that the company would not "comment on rumour and speculation".


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