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10-inch BlackBerry tablet surfaces, but will it ever launch?

A host of new images have surfaced claiming to show a 10-inch BlackBerry PlayBook. But according to rumors, that device has already been shelved.

RIM's 7-inch BlackBerry PlayBook. RIM

A 10-inch BlackBerry tablet has surfaced on the Web.

User "vuhai6" on Vietnam-based forum Tinhte has posted several images (Translate) of what is purported to be a 10-inch BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. The device looks to have the same design as its currently available 7-inch counterpart, but according to the poster, could support 4G networking.

Speaking of 4G, the poster also shows images of a 4G 7-inch PlayBook. Although it's not immediately clear where the images were taken or when, the person claims to have obtained them from someone else.

Rumors have been swirling for months that RIM would eventually launch a 10-inch PlayBook. However, last month enthusiast site N4BB reported, citing sources, that RIM had actually decided to shelve the big tablet to focus on a new BlackBerry "superphone."

RIM has so far not provided any details on its future tablet plans. The company has, however, made it clear that its focus right now is on getting BlackBerry 10-based devices out the door. That won't happen until early next year. Whether the PlayBook will receive a refresh before then is unknown at this point.

That the 10-inch slate surfaced in photos does not necessarily mean that it's launching. It's possible that RIM was working on the device, but decided to nix it in favor of other efforts.

CNET has contacted RIM for comment on the images. We will update this story when we have more information.

(Via Engadget)