To many people, the Apple iPad is little more than an oversized iPod touch, but it seems to represent a whole new niche in the market. It’s not an eReader, because the screen totally rocks and you need two hands to operate and hold it. It’s obviously not a netbook since there are no dedicated keys, but something in between. This means companies are going be scrambling to capitalize on this interest with iPad-like devices of their own, whether or not we know what the heck to do with them.
Rumors have surfaced that Research in Motion is working on a tablet of its own. They already do quite well with the BlackBerry line, so this could be an extension for corporate users who want a business-minded version of an iPad-like device to finally move towards that paperless office we once heard about.
So, what’s the source of these rumors? RIM is working with Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. Ltd., which happens to be the firm that produces the Amazon Kindle screen. They say that RIM wants 8.9-inch screens, which would put it inside the tablet range. But beyond the screen, rumors go on to say that this unnamed device will have a 3.5G modem, WiFi, and the ability to sync with BlackBerry devices, obviously. There could be some major subsidies through advertising, making for a more affordable device too.
The BlackBerry Tablet (the BerryTab, Black Tab, or whatever it’s called) should show up in late Q3 or early Q4 2010, if this rumor is solid.