The Wall Street Journal is reporting that RIM is getting ready to launch its very own tablet. The report states that the tablet would serve as a companion for a BlackBerry touchscreen smartphone that would feature a slider QWERTY keyboard and BlackBerry OS 6.0.

The smartphone, we already know of, it's likely to be the BlackBerry 9800 that was leaked last month. We've also heard murmurs of a RIM tablet before as well, although this is the first time we've heard anything from the mainstream press.

The phone/tablet companion idea is an interesting one. According to the WSJ's sources the tablet would connect to the mobile phone network via a BlackBerry phone's 3G connection, so we could see bundled tablet and phone packages with tethering data plans.

The report states that we could be seeing a BlackBerry tablet by the end of the year. There's a lot of tablets due out between now and then though, so RIM is going to have to do something special if it is going to successfully muster in on the rapidly expanding marketplace. We shall see if it does.

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