updated 10:05 am EDT, Thu August 19, 2010
RIM BlackPad may abandon BlackBerry 6 for QNX
RIM's BlackPad tablet may drop any attempt to use BlackBerry 6 when it ships, insiders said this morning. It would instead take advantage of the buyout of QNX to use an entirely fresh platform. Bloomberg's sources maintain that it would still tap into BlackBerry e-mail but wouldn't have the legacy code holding back the BlackBerry 6 platform.
Although it may be more independent than a Foleo-like device once hinted earlier, the BlackPad would have an inherent disadvantage over devices like the iPad as it purportedly wouldn't have any 3G support of its own. Instead, the tablet would have to tether to a BlackBerry over Bluetooth to get online when away from Wi-Fi.
Previous tips have pointed to a 1GHz processor as well as front and back cameras, but these haven't been confirmed.
The company has maintained a public view that tablets aren't certain prospects but is believed to be in an internal panic after the iPad not only saw early strong adoption but has found early success in business, RIM's once-safe stronghold. Companies like SAP and Wells Fargo are exploring the devices as they can still tap into work e-mail and deliver presentations on the road but are much thinner and lighter than netbooks.
The BlackPad may ship as soon as November, purportedly after being rushed ahead of an original early 2011 target. It would still arrive about half a year after Apple's tablet and could already be late competition as a result.