Research in Motion is developing an entry-level BlackBerry slider that is said to be “much smaller” than AT&T’s Torch 9800, according to BlackBerry Leaks. The site reports that this information comes from the same tipster who correctly leaked the initial overview of a device that would eventually become the Pearl 9105. This individual apparently goes on to say that the handset (mockup pictured above) will be cheaper for carriers than the Bold 9700, which isn’t really saying much at all considering that model is currently top-of-the-line on both T-Mobile and AT&T.
BBLeaks speculates that that such a product might eschew QWERTY for a SureType keyboard or even T9 numeric keypad, which would probably be necessary to significantly shrink down the Torch. As an entry-level device, it’s also not clear whether or not this would feature a touchscreen, but we have to imagine that touch input figures heavily into RIM’s future plans.
This rumor comes just a day after we heard that the alleged BlackBerry 9900 is now going by the codename Montana (formerly Magnum / Dakota), and that it may be a Bold-style device with touchscreen. Also revealed were the possibility that the Storm3 — not the so-called 9570 Storm2 refresh — is codenamed Monaco up in Waterloo. This device is said to be the one of the first handsets to transition from the BlackBerry OS over to the QNX-based platform which runs the upcoming BlackBerry PlayBook tablet.