RIM(Research In Motion) is expected to announce their tablet device(BlackPad) at their 2010 BlackBerry Developer Conference next week. Analysts are speaking out on this possible new venture and if it’s a good move. Analyst Jeffrey Fidacaro of Susquehanna Research said that RIM is building 2.5 million “BlackPads” for Q4 and but it won’t be rivaling the Apple iPad or Samsung Tab for the consumer market, but shifting towards the enterprise market.
Today eWEEK reports that Susquehanna Research analyst Jeffrey Fidacaro has learned from a source that RIM is building 2.5 million tablets for the last quarter of 2010 and that the company plans to target enterprise customers, not consumers. A Q4 launch would give the device a head start on Cisco’s Cius, which isn’t due until early 2011.
We may see the BlackBerry tablet as early as Monday at the company’s developer conference and it appears that the device will be aimed at the existing customer base. I would imagine the BlackPad will be seen as an add-on to the RIM smartphone, as opposed to its own independent computing device. We’ve heard that the BlackBerry tablet will have a 7-inch capacitive touchscreen, WiFi, Bluetooth and multiple cameras. Look for the device to rely on a RIM smartphone for 3G connectivity and I would also think that it won’t come with a GPS chip.
RIM, which acquired QNX from Harman in April, expects to launch this device in the fourth quarter this year to compete with Apple’s iPad and tablets based on Google’s Android operating system, such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab and Archos line of Android machines. Apple shipped 3.27 million iPads in the third quarter.
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.
Fidacaro questioned RIM’s tablet strategy in general. “I question the use case for the BlackPad as RIM lacks access to content,” Fidacaro told eWEEK. “And the device appears to be designed to tether to a BlackBerry not standalone 3G baseband.”