3G and touchscreen BlackBerrys on their way?

BlackBerry is to launch a host of new devices if rumours circling the Web are true and hints from RIM execs are to be believed.

At the beginning of the year, we reported that a new BlackBerry was on its way boasting 3.6 HSDPA, quad-band and Wi-Fi connectivity, along with GPS, a 2 megapixel camera, VGA colour display (480 x 320) and of course a full QWERTY keyboard.

This was according to leaked confidential documents from Vodafone.

Just under a month later, we brought you news that RIM was looking into a BlackBerry add-on for Bluetooth music streaming.

Now, RIM has confirmed today at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona that it is currently developing HSDPA-based 3G BlackBerrys and also hinted at a touchscreen model.

Company chief Jim Balsillie told Electronista's journo that versions of the smartphone with the faster cellular internet connection should be available in the "near term", giving GSM networks such as AT&T in the US or Rogers Wireless in Canada an opportunity to offer 3G BlackBerrys for the first time.

Previous 3G versions have been limited to CDMA phone services such as Verizon or Bell Canada, which use the EVDO standard for their 3G access, explains Electronista.

This may well be the model we reported on in January.

Electronista continues that the RIM exec would not confirm whether a touchscreen BlackBerry is also on the cards but did say that it is currently looking at new designs moving away from its QWERTY designs or the Pearl's more traditional number pad design.

"I think getting religious on packaging is not the way to go", Balsillie said.

Perhaps a competitor to the iPhone may be on its way.


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