RIM to launch ‘Black Pad’ rival to iPad next week

22 Sep 2010

Research in Motion is understood to be planning to launch its new tablet computer to rival the Apple iPad early next week before its developer conference in San Francisco.

Dubbed the ‘Black Pad’ in certain quarters, 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 shape of things to come

The Black Pad will be using a new operating system instead of BlackBerry OS 6 and will come with a 7-inch screen. Most likely, the Black Pad will boast the QNX operating system from a company bought by RIM.

RIM is expected to use the developer conference Miscone West next week to encourage developers to develop apps for the new device.

According to the rumour mill, the Black Pad will come with at least one, perhaps two cameras, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

It is not yet clear whether the device will have its own cellular radio or users will have to rely on a separate BlackBerry smartphone to achieve web connectivity.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the BlackPad will be manufactured by Quanta Computer of Taiwan and will run on chips from Silicon Valley firm Marvell.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years