Blackberry is all set to unwrap its first ever tablet PC known as Black Pad in the RIM’s developer conference to be held next week on Sep 27. And Black Pad will be supporting QNX OS instead of Blackberry 6 OS.
The tablet will sport a seven-inch touch screen, up to two cameras, and Bluetooth to connect with headsets and other devices. (The iPad features a 9.7-inch screen, zero cameras – although the iPhone 4 has two – and Bluetooth service.) However, the most interesting aspect is its cellular plan. The Journal says the BlackPad will offer mobile Internet, but only through another BlackBerry smartphone. In other words, you’ll need to already own a BlackBerry to get the most out of a BlackPad.
The tablet computer is going to emulate the success of BlackBerry’s Apps Store and make use of the safe reputation BlackBerry devices still have in corporate circles. Major enterprise applications vendors like Citrix, whose Receiver app is a hit on the Apple iPad, are understood to be planning to support RIM’s device. The device, which is expected to be launched at a RIM developer conference, will mark a new challenge to the dominance of Apple’s iPad in the tablet computer market, coming as Samsung, Dell and Motorola all prepare similar devices that run on the increasingly popular Android operating system made by Google.
Industry analyst Jack Gold noted QNX has a lot of expertise building real-time, embedded systems for the auto and entertainment, “so I have no doubt they can design a pretty compelling environment for a tablet.” Assuming the BlackPad is built on QNX, Gold wonders how or if it will be compatible with existing BlackBerry smartphones and tie into the BlackBerry Enterprise Server infrastructure to ensure compatibility with existing corporate device and application installations.
In response to the Apple iPad’s massive success, other manufacturers have rushed into the consumer tablet market. Samsung and its carrier partners are preparing to release the 7-inch Galaxy Tab, which includes an enhanced TFT-LCD display with 1,024-by-600 resolution, Android 2.2 operating system, 1GHz processor, 16GB of internal memory scalable to 32GB of external memory, and support for Adobe Flash 10.1. Dell is already marketing the 5-inch Streak, which sells for $299 with an AT&T contract and $549.99 unlocked. And Hewlett-Packard is reportedly preparing tablets to run both its recently acquired Palm WebOS and Windows 7.
The Journal reported that the BlackPad would be available before the end of the year and feature a 7-inch (15.4-centimetre) screen, one or two cameras, and the ability to connect to the internet by tethering to a nearby BlackBerry handset. It will also come with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi capabilities and will feature a new operating system made by QNX Software Systems, a company which RIM bought in April for $200 million.
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