updated 05:20 pm EDT, Wed July 28, 2010
RIM gets BlackPad domain to guard tablet name plan
RIM's plans for a BlackBerry tablet were corroborated today as the company is now known to have registered BlackPad.com. A WHOIS check on the domain showed that it was bought just a few days ago on behalf of RIM by CSC, a company specializing in corporate branding. The domain had been owned by others but had gone unused since 2002.
Domain registrations aren't automatic confirmations of product plans and are sometimes used only as preventative measures to avoid an expensive license in the future. Apple is well known for having registered iPhone.org years before it unveiled an actual product.
However, the decision to register the name has surfaced right as rumors have intensified surrounding a RIM tablet and from a company that isn't known to register domains out of speculation alone.
Little has been confirmed about the BlackPad, and its exact role if planned to ship hasn't been determined. The slate could be as little as a small, Foleo-like slave device meant only to link with an existing phone to a 1GHz, camera-equipped independent device meant to challenge the iPad. Publicly, RIM has avoided commitment to the idea of a tablet but hasn't ruled it out.
If and when RIM started a tablet is equally a mystery, but the Canadian phone designer is widely understood to have been caught at least partly off-guard by the iPad launch. The BlackPad may be in a rushed development process that sees shipping in the fall, but it may not arrive until 2011. [via MobileCrunch]