RIM could show a BlackBerry slate next week

The iPad and the oncoming slew of Android slates might be grabbing all the headlines, but other contestants are gearing up to participate in the showdown, as well. Quoting anonymous sources, the Wall Street Journal reports that BlackBerry maker RIM may unveil a slate device "as early as next week."

The device might be dubbed the BlackPad, and word is that it will have a 7" touch screen, Marvell silicon inside, one or two cameras, and Bluetooth connectivity. It will be manufactured by Quanta. According to the WSJ, the device will be able to connect to the Internet via cellular networks... but only when tethered to a BlackBerry phone.

More interesting, the WSJ story says RIM will eschew its BlackBerry 6 operating system and instead base the slate on a brand-new, QNX-based platform. In case you missed the news earlier this year, RIM announced its acquisition of QNX Software Systems back in April. QNX's namesake product is a real-time, Unix-based OS used in "everything from cars to nuclear reactors," in the Journal's words.

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