The BlackPad is Coming but Don’t Expect it to Be For Gaming or Media


Research In Motion’s (RIM) BlackBerry ‘BlackPad’ tablet might be spotted in a few days at the BlackBerry Developers Conference. Analysts are reporting that something to the tune of 2.5 million of these will be built by the end of the year. The rumors have been going for months. We’ve seen a bunch of possible names for the tablet, including BlackPad, ‘Cobalt’ and even ‘SurfBook’. This thing seems like pretty much a done deal even though no official confirmation has come out of RIM yet. Even the Wall Street Journal laid out its evidence this week for its existence as pretty much fact. But what is this thing going to be for and what will it do? That’s the big question now.

First of all, the BlackPad is not going to be a BlackBerry replacement for that iPad you keep putting off buying. Wait what? Yes, the BlackPad is going to be business oriented. Or at least that is what analysts are expecting. RIM is expected to be going with its recently acquired QNX Software Systems for the operating system. That means no BlackBerry OS. It also means that there won’t be any app support for it at launch. The iPad was able to use a lot of iPhone and iPod touch apps at launch. The BlackPad won’t have that luxury.

The games you love to play on your Bold? Nope. Twitter clients? Facebook client? Streaming content apps? No, nope, and sorry but no. I am sure some of these will find their way to the new OS eventually, but right now the BlackBerry App World store is at around 10k apps. Developers are shying away from the current OS already, so why would they completely rewrite their apps to run on a new operating system on an unproven tablet?

RIM is going to go for the corporate market with this thing, not consumers like you and me. It wants its tablet to be able to access clouds, client/server apps and all of that stuff big businesses love for productivity. A good part of DataViz was recently acquired by RIM so it might be making its own office productivity suite or something like it. Basically, the BlackPad is looking like it wants to avoid a battle against the iPad and the Samsung Tab. What it wants to fight is Cisco’s tablet, the Cius. That looks like a market RIM could actually win or at least be a big player in.

Still interested in the BlackPad? Let me know why. Hopefully it doesn’t have an identify crisis and try to do everything. The jack of all trades is the master of none.

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