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RIM shares soar on talk of iPhone killer to revitalise the Blackberry

SHARES in Research In Motion soared yesterday after a report suggested the BlackBerry maker was working on a touch-screen smartphone to rival Apple’s iPhone.

The Canadian technology firm is said to be trialling a device with a screen that responds to a users’ fingers like an iPhone, but with a slide-out keyboard. RIM is also reported to be looking at a tablet computer that could be compared to Apple’s recently-launched iPad.

Although RIM remains the frontrunner in US high-end mobile phone sector, with a 35 per cent market share against Apple’s 28 per cent, the iPhone’s popularity is spreading from the consumer sphere to the business world. Last month, Standard Chartered became one of the first large companies to give employees the choice of an iPhone as an alternative to the traditional BlackBerry for work use.

RIM’s stock rose 5.9 per cent to $62.79 on the Nasdaq exchange as traders took hope from the Wall Street Journal article.

RIM has already said it will begin marketing a new smartphone with a fresh operating system and web browser by the end of the third quarter. It would not comment further.