updated 12:15 pm EDT, Fri July 30, 2010
BlackBerry tablet name, ship date may be confirmed
A potentially major rumor today has pinpointed the launch of RIM's BlackBerry tablet to November. A pair of sources said the BlackPad name registered earlier is the final name and that its screen will be roughly similar in size to the iPad. Bluetooth and Wi-Fi would let it tether to a BlackBerry to get online, though Bloomberg didn't say how independent the device would be.
The leaks today did point to the tablet linking into RIM's signature push e-mail system. One previous rumor had said it would have 1GHz processor and dual cameras, likely to provide videoconferencing for RIM's predominantly business-based audience.
The BlackPad was originally thought to be shipping in early 2011 but to have been moved up to the fall to avoid ceding share to Apple. RIM took roughly 1.5 years after the iPhone to produce its first touchscreen phone, the BlackBerry Storm, and by then had ultimately given Apple an opening to claim a large portion of the smartphone market.
On the record, RIM has refused to show its intentions with tablets, but suspicions have been raised over time that the company was caught off-guard by the unveiling of the iPad in January. It has remained partly independent of Apple's design practices and still focuses most of its efforts on non-touch devices, but the Storm was known to be a direct response to the iPhone and is now being followed up by the BlackBerry 9800 at RIM's special event next week.