Expected to launch in November
Some time back we told you that RIM was working on a tablet product to compete with the iPad, and they have gone as far as to register the domain name www.blackpad.com. Our sources tell us that the BlackPad development is in high speed and it is expected to be announced in late November for arrival in the late holiday season.
The BlackPad, as we reported, will be powered by its own OS rather than use the existing BlackBerry OS 6 that is just now making its way into the most recent BlackBerry devices. It seems, however, that there still remain many more questions than answers about what the BlackPad will be and what it will offer. The decision to use a new OS, rather than a BlackBerry OS, could mean that compatibility with the existing library of BlackBerry apps isn’t going to be offered, which could hurt the BlackPad right out of the gate.
Our sources from the land of the north tell us that we should look for the BlackPad to be more of a business-oriented device with a splash of social media support. It will offer both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support for connectivity and use tethering to your existing BlackBerry for cellular connectivity. Quanta Computer is said be handling the manufacturing of the device for RIM.
From the whispers we hear, RIM is targeting a $499 price tag when the BlackPad launches, and apparently it is pretty firm on that price. It remains to be seen if this strategy will pay off for RIM, but the current in-roads that the company has with IT departments in corporate environments could be a significant boost in the company’s ability to gain more traction.
The decision to focus on tools for business users could also end up being a decision that could lead to sales in places where the iPad might not do well.