The BlackBerry tablet is still sitting in the rumor mill right now and there are very few details about what to expect. The Street is already calling it the BlackPad and deeming it a failure while the product is still in its early engineering phase. This sort of judgment is definitely much too early to make, but it doesn’t look great for RIM to follow Apple yet again in a ‘keeping up with the Johnsons’ sort of way. App World seemed like an after-thought after Apple’s success with an embedded app store, and the success of the iPad seems to have engineers and VPs at RIM scrambling around to pull a tablet of their own together. If the BlackPad is actually the product name, it’s yet another indication that RIM is just following Apple’s lead.
According to Rodman Renshaw analyst Ashok Kumar, RIM was going to make an Android-powered tablet, but backed out and has since decided to power their BlackPad with OS 6. Kumar also says the BlackPad will use Marvell’s Armada processor, rather than go with Intel.
Rumors of the BlackPad point to it being thinner and smaller than the iPad. There are also patents filed by RIM for tablet gestures that are similar to the sort of gestures we have seen in OS 6, but a little more complicated.
It looks like this tablet business is really going to happen and BlackBerry users will have incredibly high expectations. In order for this to be a success, RIM is going to have to employ everything it has learned about the enterprise space to enter a market where Apple can’t go. With the security and email infrastructure that RIM maintains, it’s possible we could see large organizations adopting the BlackPad and transforming the way they do business. Conversely, the BlackPad could focus on a consumer market where they’re not as competitive, and seriously flop.