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.

Comments closed
    • dpaus
    • 12 years ago

    Yeah, QNX is a true microkernal OS. At one point, the entire kernal fit within the on-chip cache of a 486 🙂 I cannot understand why Microsoft didn’t snap them up years ago….

    • dpaus
    • 12 years ago

    Let’s see, a companion device for your smartphone with a larger screen that uses the smartphone for communication….. I seem to remember a company called “Palm” announcing such a device – called the ‘Foleo’, anyone remember that? – about 4 years ago. And promptly got laughed off the market.

    It’s all about the timing….

    • Corrado
    • 12 years ago

    Will they keep the same crap CPU’s and low res displays that they insist on saddling their phones with these days?

    • nagashi
    • 12 years ago

    Minor point: QNX is NOT unix-based. It’s unix-like. And it’s significantly less unix-like than Linux.

    • UberGerbil
    • 12 years ago

    On what basis?

    • eitje
    • 12 years ago

    Seems to me that they’ll be targetting the travelling salesman with this. The folks who already live off their BB will be glad for a larger screen, if it continues to sync with their home base as well as their current hardware does.

    • Voldenuit
    • 12 years ago

    It’s strange that there is only 1 device already out (iPad), yet the market already feels crowded.

    I’m not sure what yet another tablet with yet another new OS with no application support whatsoever is going to do in said market.

    • destroy.all.monsters
    • 12 years ago

    Is it? It seems to me that with all the tablets/slates coming out that RIM would be an also ran if it tried to be all things to all people. We have the Apple crowd (and the RDF that goes with it), Android – which has a ton of marketing dollars behind it, and some upcoming Windows tablets.

    You have to differentiate yourself somehow. Doing so on price (since the internet will cost you zero extra dollars) and loyalty seems like a good idea. The intent to bring people to Blackberry is with the initial devices including the upcoming clamshell.

    It seems to me they are making the right moves even if they’re a bit slow and conservative .

    • destroy.all.monsters
    • 12 years ago

    Here’s to hoping that BB 7 will be QNX based as well.

    Considering data rate pricing of various wireless networks this is probably a blessing since with Blackberry you get unlimited internet.That makes it more a value add than a lock in.

    • Farting Bob
    • 12 years ago

    The problem is most people dont own a blackberry. Its limiting their potential market just as the touchscreen tablet market is starting up and if they want to be anything other than a bit-player in it they should make it as easy for anyone to walk into a shop and buy a RIM tablet.

    • moog
    • 12 years ago

    Interesting, I remember QNX, they make an industrial grade OS sort of like WindRiver VxWorks. Should be very stable and minimal. Curious to know how this new pad will perform (I expect very fast or at least the potential to).

    • jdcope
    • 12 years ago

    Well, since I have a BB, I think this is ok. Besides, I wont have to pay for ANOTHER online access account for new device. Its bad enough I have to pay for more than one for all my devices as it is.

    • Farting Bob
    • 12 years ago

    A tablet from RIM that can only connect to phone networks when used with a phone from RIM plugged into it?
    Why cant these companies ever make it simple? And they wonder why apple dominates them so shortly after entering markets?

    • tay
    • 12 years ago

    QNX would make a great back end, but what about the UI & tools. This is where BlackBerry has failed to advance from a email reading device.

    • PcItalian
    • 12 years ago

    BlackPad? Sounds like a lawsuit in the works.

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