BlackBerry BlackPad (Cobalt) Tablet Due November?

Two “people familiar with the company’s plans” say RIM’s planning to launch their BlackBerry tablet, recently outed as the BlackPad,  in November 2010. Previous estimates put a release in that ballpark, so it seems likely enough. The source also confirms the initial speculation that the device would connect to a BlackBerry smartphone via Bluetooth for a mobile internet connection, but can otherwise cruise on Wi-Fi. No update on the size, but we’re still waffling between 8.9″ and 7″.  I’m still not sold on the BlackPad name (which the source also confirms), but maybe it’ll grow on me.

So RIM’s really going ahead with a smartphone companion, eh? If Apple more or less has the tablet multimedia and apps business locked-down with the iPad, what kind of counterpoint will BlackBerry offer? Outstanding native document viewing would be a nice bone to throw the suits, and video conferencing capabilities could let RIM piggyback on the attention FaceTime is earning the technology, while providing it in a form factor that Apple doesn’t. If RIM wanted to throw some punches in multimedia, some DLNA connectivity or an HDMI-out port would give BlackBerry some fightin’ juice, and word has it the thing will support Flash for some decent web browsing. I’m curious to see if they’ll use SurePress, or maybe let you input text via BlackBerry.

Competition on the tablet front is quickly growing – Samsung’s Tab will be championing Android in the tablet arena, while HP polishes off the Slate and moves forward with putting webOS onto a tablet, and of course Apple’s iPad only becomes more entrenched by the day.

What do you guys think – will RIM put up a good fight in this burgeoning market? Or will the early movers in the tablet space soak up all the attention?

[via Bloomberg]

P.S.: Before you get too excited, that pic’s a mockup using the HP Slate as a source.

  • Dcthadon

    im not sold on anything BBerry, why are they still stuck in the old PALM look? retro anyone?…….the STORM may have been there best phone to date and it lags in competition.

    sad thing is business users like the standardized look and feel, everyone has the same dull, null phone. how about something unique. A flagship device that makes blackberry better?

    • GadgetHappy

      By "look" do you mean design and form? Believe it or not, there are plenty (millions) of people who prefer the physical design of traditional BBs: a physical qwerty keyboard that can be used with one hand. I was a Palm Classic OS user before I switched to Blackberry. I do hope RIM will be more aggressive about adding alternative designs to add variety to the product offerings. Very glad to see the Torch. The more choices, the merrier. But long live the current Tour/Bold style phones!

  • Pat

    RIM should focus on finally updating its operating system. No I am not referring to the upcoming 6.0 release which is nothing more than a pretty face on the same old obsolete core. I am referring to a brand new, modern OS written from the ground up to compete with Android, or iOS, not a UI improvement like 6.0 is poised to be (similar to WinMo 6.5 … and we all know what happened there).

    BlackPad will be a failure, and if BB OS 7.0 is not new, and released soon RIM will continue losing market share.

  • Jay

    RIM’s core market is Enterprise and there’s a lot of IT departments that already support BB products. If RIM can release a tablet that ties in nicely with that system, and offers companies some decent enterpise software, they could own the enterpise tablet market.


  • Jake

    I can not wait for the blackpad to be announced next month! Going to give the iPad a run for the money. But not sure about the lack of apps.

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