The Wall Street Journal is reporting that RIM, manufacturer of the popular BlackBerry range of smartphones, could be finalising plans to unveil its new tablet device at a developers’ conference in San Francisco which starts next week.
Internally, the tablet is said to go by the name “BlackPad” and is scheduled for release in the final quarter of 2010. The device will feature a 7-inch screen and could have two cameras for two-way video chat but will not directly connect via mobile networks, according to sources familiar with the matter.
Instead, the tablet will connect via Bluetooth and wireless connections, as well as being able to tether a connection via a BlackBerry device. Due to the lack of cellular support, the WSJ points out that it is not clear which carriers or retailers will actually sell the device.
People close to the development of the tablet have remarked on RIM’s choice of operating system for the tablet. In April, RIM acquired QNX, a company that traditionally developed operating systems for in-car navigation, vehicle software as well as BMW’s audio systems and software used to control the U.S. Army’s unmanned Crusher ground vehicle. Both RIM and QNX have developed a tablet operating system from the ground up, designed to scale and early impressions are that it’s a “worthy competitor to Apple’s and Google’s platforms”.
Whether the BlackPad is unveiled next week remains to be seen, we will of course keep you updated.