The technology gossip columns have spent the past
few days digesting
rumors about an upcoming BlackBerry tablet. Some of the details first came
out in a Wall
Street Journal article last month.
RIM is also experimenting with a tablet device to serve
as a larger-screen companion to its BlackBerry phone, say people familiar with
RIM’s plans. That device, which is in an early stage of development, will
connect to cellular networks via a BlackBerry phone, these people say. It could
come out as soon as the end of the year, these people say."
Now we know more. It
will be 8.9 inches in size and come only with Bluetooth or WiFi. That means it
will likely work in concert with another BlackBerry device that the user
already owns. It will have a slide out keyboard and run the upcoming BlackBerry
OS 6, the most interesting features of which you can see in this video.
This news sets up a
fascinating duel with Apple. Despite the success of the iPhone, RIM still holds
a solid lead in the smartphone market thanks to its ubiquity in corporate
environments. On the other hand, no one can compete with Apple’s iPad yet. Will
a BlackBerry tablet prevent BlackBerry users from buying into the iPad hype?
Time will tell.
— Don Willmott