The talk of a BlackBerry slider smartphone continues to bubble, and BGR’s sources reckon they have some fresh information on the matter. The in-development device is apparently a portrait-orientation slider, more similar to the Palm Pre in form-factor than it is to the more common side-sliding QWERTY handsets, and it’s likely to have a touchscreen along with the pull-out ‘board. In fact the source reckons this particular BlackBerry is what the ongoing Magnum/Dakota project – which paired a keyboard, touchscreen and optical joystick – evolved into.
That would leave the unnamed new device as pretty much a BlackBerry Storm 9520 with a slide-up keyboard similar to the BlackBerry Bold. Other specs include WiFi 802.11n – “100% support” insists the source – and a 360 x 480 display. Software is expected to be BlackBerry OS 6.0, and – best of all – this isn’t going to be a Verizon exclusive; RIM’s first slider will be a GSM/HSPA device.
Of course, all this is unconfirmed by RIM themselves, and the origins of the image – which would be distinctly easy to recreate in Photoshop – are unclear too. RIM have proved cautious with alternative form-factors to their traditional candybars – the clamshell Pearl Flip 8230 model has languished unchanged for some time now, and is in fact rumored to be end-of-life – and it took a hardware refresh and several software iterations before the touchscreen Storm was accepted.