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Research in Motion planning on expanding beyond smartphones

In case you couldn’t already figure it out from the company’s tablet ambitions with the BlackBerry PlayBook, Research in Motion has effectively put out a formal statement saying that the company is interested in doing more than just smartphones; they want to extend the focus “to mobile PCs and solutions through offering tablet PCs and much more application progrms.”

This comes by way of Tyler Lessard, RIM vice president for Global Alliances and Developer Relations. Just as Apple has built up quite the ecosystem for itself with the iPhone, iPad, MacBook, iTunes, MobileMe, and so forth, it seems that RIM is slowly working toward similar ambitions but with more of a business-related slant.

RIM will launch PlayBook, its first tablet PC running on BlackBerry Tablet OS based on QNX Neutrino. In line with the launch, RIM will offer the BlackBerry 6.1 Application Platform, the latest version of BlackBerry WebWorks software development kit supporting BlackBerry Tablet OS and BlackBerry OS.

For now, we’re seeing just the SDKs for the smartphone OS and the tablet OS, but moving forward, we could see even more focus on so-called “mobile PCs.” Does this mean that a QNX-powered RIM netbook is a possibility in the near future? Maybe they’ll start developing more desktop PC software to work in tandem with the BlackBerry ecosystem? Or am I just reaching?

About Michael Kwan

A freelance writer and tech geek from Vancouver. Find me at michaelkwan.com and follow me on Twitter @michaelkwan.

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