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Blackberry maker may be looking to launch TV device

Two Blackberry fansites have reported that the smartphone’s manufacturer RIM may be developing an Apple TV-like set-top box.

N4BB cited an anonymous source that had already given it an exclusive story about RIM’s launch of the Blackberry PlayBook tablet device as the origin of the story. The ‘Blackberry Media Box’ would however be more focused on business applications and could take the form of a cross between an Apple TV-type device and the Blackberry Presenter, which allows Blackberry users to present PowerPoint or Adobe PDF files direct from their phones.

Another website, NerdBerry, has reported that the device, which has been codenamed Cyclone, will connect to TVs via HDMI, will be WiFi-enabled and could come with Netflix and YouTube applications. It said that the device, which would likely launch later this year, would be slightly larger than the Presenter.

Some observers have however expressed skepticism that RIM, which has struggled to hold its position in its core phone business, would look to compete directly with the likes of Apple and Boxee in the TV device market. RIM also lacks content deals or the equivalent of the iTunes store.