RIM has a tablet in the works. This isn’t the first we’ve heard of it either. Apparently it was even supposed to be powered by Android and was to be released this year. But that’s not going to happen according to one source. Nope, the RIM “BlackPad” has been pushed back to next year and will ship with RIM’s own BlackBerry OS instead.
This comes from Ashok Kumar, an analyst from Rodman Renshaw, and while the part about the tablet coming out next year rings true with what we’ve already heard, we’re definitely questioning the Android part of the story. That doesn’t sound like RIM at all. They have always held true to its BlackBerry OS, which is certainly tablet ready. Perhaps an early hardware demo ran Android as a proof-of-concept, but RIM probably wouldn’t muck up its brand identity by releasing an Android tablet to the masses.
Apple is the poster child of creating a common user interfaces across product lines. RIM would likely follow the same path, relying on longtime BlackBerry users to quickly jump on board with the BlackPad because of the familiar operating system and robust email support.
That is if RIM is even working on tablet. There hasn’t been any official confirmation out of Waterloo concerning such a device, but RIM, along with the other mobile manufacturers like Nokia, Samsung, and Motorola, would likely be the prime candidates to out a true iPad contender. But they better hurry. There are already over a million iPads in the states and Europe is about to get their first chance at the tablet in the coming days. It’s going to be hard to break the public’s attention away from the iPad in a few months, let alone next year when the so-called BlackPad is supposed to debut.