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Last week we reported that RIM’s upcoming new touchscreen Blackberry (which also sports a slide-out keyboard) will likely hit shelves on August 15, according to the BlackBerry Partners Fund’s John Albright. Now Engadget reports that RIM is planning a major joint event with AT&T next Tuesday.

It doesn’t take a prophet to read between the lines — it’s very likely that RIM is gearing up to announce the new BlackBerry iPhone competitor next week. The phone doesn’t yet have an official name, but gadget blogs have taken to calling it the BlackBerry 9800.

The 9800’s big selling point is its combination of a physical keyboard — which has kept the BlackBerry-faithful addicted to the platform — and a modern touchscreen interface. The device will apparently run RIM’s upcoming BlackBerry OS 6 operating system (see video below), which is due for release this summer. The new OS offers a more streamlined interface, as well as full touchscreen support.

RIM is also expected to announce OS 6’s release at the event next week.

Image via BlackBerry Times


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