RIM's BlackPad tablet won't run its new BlackBerry 6 OS but instead software from QNX, which it acquired in April, Bloomberg has reported. A formal introduction is expected in November.
New details have emerged regarding Research In Motion's planned BlackBerry
With the BlackPad-the expected name of the device, after RIM
acquired the rights to blackpad.com in July
-it appears RIM is planning to
avoid some of the missteps it took with the BlackBerry Torch 9800. While the
Torch is widely considered the best BlackBerry handset to date, reviewers-and
-have found it to borrow from, or be on par with, existing
devices, and so not terribly cutting edge. With the BlackPad, consumers and
enterprises may encounter a little more wow.
Instead of RIM's new BlackBerry 6, the tablet is expected to run software
developed by QNX, Bloomberg reported Aug. 19. The news outlet, citing a person
familiar with RIM's plans, said the decision to use QNX software instead of
BlackBerry 6 may stem from QNX being "simpler and faster," as
BlackBerry 6 "includes legacy software code from older BlackBerry phones."
In April, RIM
announced its plans to purchase QNX from Harman International for $200 million.
QNX-based in-vehicle solutions are currently in more than 200 vehicle models,
from BMWs and Land Rovers to Toyotas and Fords. Announcing RIM's acquisition
plans, RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis said at the
time, "We believe the planned acquisition of QNX will also bring other
value to RIM in terms of supporting certain unannounced product plans for
intelligent peripherals, adding valuable intellectual property to RIM's
portfolio and providing long-term synergies for the companies based on the
significant and complementary OS expertise that exists within the RIM and QNX
(It's not far-out to think RIM may still explore the in-vehicle market.
Handset competitor Nokia
has also dipped a toe in these waters,
in May proposing, with five
automotive manufacturers, a specification that it hopes will be the industry
standard for integrating mobile applications inside vehicles.)
Again citing people familiar with RIM's plans, Bloomberg
additionally reported that the
RIM tablet will not connect directly to a cellular network-by contrast, Apple
offers WiFi-only iPad models, as well as models with both WiFi and 3G
connectivity over the AT&T network. The RIM tablet will also reportedly be
roughly the same dimensions as the iPad and be finally introduced this
More, "the BlackPad is designed to capitalize on RIM's strengths with
corporate customers, particularly with email service," Bloomberg reported.
"The tablet will be closely integrated with BlackBerry's email system and
will have similar security for messaging."
Analysts expect a number of device competitors to deliver tablet devices to
market in time for holiday sales. Hewlett-Packard is at work on not one but two
tablets-one running WebOS and another that's Microsoft-based. Google and
Verizon have also said they're at work on an Android-based tablet, and Lenovo,
Samsung and Motorola are likewise expected to bring tablets to market soon.
Analysis firm IDC has forecast tablet
shipments to reach 7.6 million units by year's end, before rising to 46 million