There’s a rumor going around that the company behind the BlackBerry smartphone might be getting into the tablet game.

The evidence is a bit weak at this point. All we know is that a few sources are claiming Research in Motion placed orders for 8.9 inch displays from a Taiwanese component maker.

That could mean that BlackBerry is working on a tablet to compete head to head with Apple’s iPad. But it could also mean the company is working on a Redfly-like device that will sync with your phone and offer you a bigger screen for browsing the web and writing documents.

Or it could just mean that BlackBerry is doing some research into possible product categories and that this will lead to absolutely nothing at all. As with any rumor, it’s also possible that no orders were placed at all. It wasn’t that long ago that RIM’s CEO suggested the company wasn’t interested in netbooks or other larger-than-smartphone devices. So take this with a grain of salt and all that… but it does lead to the question: is anybody looking for a BlackBerry tablet?

Sure, Apple’s iPad is selling quite well, thus proving that the world is cool with a large tablet running an OS that was designed for smartphones. And there are plenty of companies working to bring Google Android-based tablets to market. But with Research in Motion’s focus on enterprise customers, I have to wonder whether the BlackBerry OS really makes sense on an iPad-like tablet. The form factor really seems to make more sense for entertainment-focused devices for surfing the web and watching movies, not enterprise activities like managing email and documents — although Apple has demonstrated that you can run office software like iWorks on a tablet if you rethink the user interface.

via Netbook Choice

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14 replies on “Would you buy a BlackBerry tablet?”

  1. Blackberry needs to get their phones up to par before trying to compete in the tablet space. I would not consider a Blackberry tablet at all.

  2. I would consider it way more than I would consider the iPAD. I think it would be a good move since so many companies seem to be coming out with a tablet pc. Perhaps it could use the os that their phone uses? (or an updated version of it?).

    I have read that Palm is also considering a table pc and perhaps re-introducing the Foleo as a netbook. It will be interesting to see how well that works out. I believe the Folio would work better as a netbook that as a smart phone companion; especially if it has 3/4g built in.

  3. Dear Lord – lets hope if they do – that the final product sold is better than the pos Storm & Storm2 they have on the market now…

  4. I won’t. Tablets seem to be going backwards with functionality. Just get a netbook or ultraportable.

  5. If I recall correctly from last year there were reports that RIM had patented a improved touch screen technology with the best features of both Resistive and Capacitive… at the time it was thought they would license it out but now it could be they could be finally applying it to something.

    Though I agree their history on touch interface leaves a lot to be desired but they do make very popular smartphones and may be considering the Smartbook market and not necessarily a tablet…

  6. If they can’t even produce a decent touchscreen phone then why in the heck would I buy a tablet from them? The answer is NO!

  7. Not a chance. I’ve been waiting at least 5 years for the platform to simply have an acceptable web browser. Even with their planned WebKit browser, I’m not entirely convinced they will be able to implement it with a usable interface.

    Apple really raised the bar, and with the announcement of OS 4.0 and the additional enterprise support, RIM really needs to get on the ball and consider a complete platform reset as Microsoft has done with Windows Mobile to remain a viable platform for the long term.

  8. Um, I liked my Blackberry when I got it. I’m looking to replace it with something that has an OS that feels ‘modern’, i.e. an Android, WebOS, or even an iPhone if they ever leave AT&T, so… No. I’ve never been enamored by the Storm interface. I don’t know how much they’d bring to the table honestly. Also I don’t know if Blackberry really has the marketing oomph that, say, Apple does, in the non-business commercial space to make up for the fact that it would be essentially a me too kind of device. Add in the fact that Android tablets are on the way to thuroughly muddy the me too tablet market, and RIM would have to deliver on a number of points: Their software would need to be VERY compelling, the device would have to at least have the technical specs of some of the more interesting Android tablets, and they would need to be competitive on price not with Apple but the onslaught of Android tablets.

    Given that the Tablet market isn’t really a NEED market, and I don’t think that it makes a whole lot of sense for RIM to enter into it. That said they do need to step up their game. They’ve made great products for their time, but they don’t have the most compelling smart phones, and they’re getting less and less compelling every month as wave after wave of just slick Android based phones comes out. Maybe a tablet would help them reinvent themselves. Or maybe it will be another nail in their coffin. All I know for certain is that they’re now definitely in an innovate or face a long slow funeral position.

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