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BlackBerry and BT tentatively test tablets tied to your telephone

BlackBerry and BT are working on tablet devices tied to their phone offerings -- one for the home, and one for out and about

BT and BlackBerry are both preparing new twists on the tablet PC. The two companies are working separately on devices that will be tied into phone deals -- one mobile and one in the home.

BlackBerry maker Research in Motion is planning an 8.9-inch tablet to be out in December this year. The tablet, reportedly codenamed 'Cobalt', has been described by Boy Genius Report as a 'companion device', meaning it needs to be paired with a BlackBerry phone in order to connect to the Internet.

It will connect to a phone via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, but won't be able to directly access the Web. In a sense, it's almost like a monitor for your BlackBerry.

Limiting the number of potential sales just to those who already own a BlackBerry is a strange move, but it could mean RIM won't need separate deals for the tablet with carriers. Bundling handset and tablet together may also be a way of standing out from the glut of tablets heading our way this year.

Apple's iPad has whipped up a tablet frenzy -- other slates slated for shop shelves include the Google Gpad, JooJoo Web tablet, HP, er, Slate and Dell Looking Glass.

Even BT is getting in on the action, yesterday showing off a prototype device that combines tablet with landline phone. It's similar to the O2 Joggler in that it's designed to stay in the home and act as an organiser, but it will access the Web and run apps. The Guardian reports the device is set to be bundled with BT's broadband and landline packages. Trials are currently being held in Cardiff.

Could a tablet tempt you to a BlackBerry contract or BT landline? Let us know in the comments.

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