Report: RIM may unveil BlackBerry tablet next week

Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) may unveil its answer to Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad tablet as soon as next week at its developer conference in San Francisco, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal

The report, citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter, said the BlackBerry maker also will take the wraps off the tablet's new operating system--one not based on the company's new BlackBerry 6 platform. The seven-inch tablet--dubbed the BlackPad--is expected to be released in the fourth quarter and have one or two cameras, the report said.

A RIM spokeswoman declined to comment.

The tablet, which will use Marvell chips, will run on software from infotainment specialist QNX Software, which RIM bought in April for $200 million, the report said. Interestingly, the report added that RIM will eventually transition its BlackBerry phones to the QNX platform. That information fits with an August report from Bloomberg that said RIM will use QNX's software for its tablet. The software is seen as something that could be a key differentiator for RIM and help it to attract developers; RIM's BlackBerry App World has around 10,000 applications, far fewer than Google's Android Market and Apple's App Store.

RIM's tablet would join a growing field of competitors looking to cash in on tablet market, including Samsung, LG, Acer, Cisco, Motorola (NYSE:MOT) and others.

For more:
- see this WSJ article (sub. req.)

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