Research in Motion (RIMM), which reports earnings today after the close, is hurrying to release the touch-screen iPhone-killer BlackBerries we noted last month. The Globe and Mail provides new details and reports that RIM could release two new units as early as February.
Tuesday, a pair of patent schematics showing what appear to be plans for two new BlackBerry devices surfaced in a research note by GMP Securities analyst Ray Sharma. One of the devices — dubbed the Touchscreen 1.0 in the note — features a touch-sensitive screen similar to the iPhone or the HTC Touch, as well as a rollaway keypad in the standard keyboard-style QWERTY layout, a BlackBerry staple.
The other device, the Pearl 2.0, is similar to the existing device of the same name, only with a standard numeric keypad that can rotate 90 degrees to offer a typing experience similar to the QWERTY set up.
G&M also notes that Research in Motion just opened its first retail store (with a partner) and now gets 30% of its revenue from its consumer business. This helps diversify RIM’s business, but it also puts the company square in the sights of two trends that could hurt it:
- Apple’s iPhone
- A slowdown in consumer spending as the economy hits the skids.
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