Blackberry's parent company, Research in Motion, will reportedly launch a tablet to go up against the iPad in November. The story comes from Bloomberg quoting "two anonymous sources familiar with the company's plans".
Although RIM has not blessed the story, we do know this; it has registerd the web address "blackpad.com". Those same sources say that this is what the tablet will indeed be called.
I hope this isn't true. Memo to tech industry from a woman; anything ending in "pad" is a bad idea. If you need any evidence that these companies are still largely male-dominated look no further than this tone-deaf marketing to women.
Okay, my estrogen levels are lowering now. Back to the story.
So this "Blackpad" will presumably have the same size screen as the iPad (9.7 inches). It will have cameras front and back for videoconferencing and be tricked out for Bluetooth and WiFi. Users will be able to tether with their Blackberry phones for Internet access, as well. Pricing will start at $499 (just like another device that starts with a little "i" and ends in "Pad").
So does RIM actually have a shot with this thing?
Short answer: yes.
RIM does have its work cut out for itself. Apple has over 200,000 apps in its store. RIM has about six thousand to date.
However, it would make sense for the iPad to rule the "tablet as a toy" space, while the Blackpad positions itself as "tablet as a tool" device.