updated 12:55 pm EDT, Fri April 9, 2010
Research firm claims RIM wants large screens
RIM may be developing a tablet of its own, based on claims by an industry research firm. Checks in the supply chain have led the analysts to believe that RIM is ordering an 8.9-inch tablet from Hon Hai Precision (Foxconn) that would be ready to ship by the summer or fall of this year. Whether it would use the BlackBerry OS itself isn't known, but it may have ad-supported content playback and use both 3G and Wi-Fi to sync with a BlackBerry smartphone.
The note given to CrackBerry doesn't say much more, and the device may be a companion product rather than a full-fledged tablet. However, it does come just as RIM has bought out QNX, a veteran of embedded OS development that will help make a mystery set of "intelligent peripherals" in the future.
RIM has had a difficult time gaining traction with touchscreen BlackBerry devices so far; it has so far launched just the Storm and Storm2, and both enjoyed early sales rushes only to quickly cool down as newer rivals and traditional BlackBerry models regained favor. Some of the struggle has come from the relative age of the OS compared to Android and iPhone, but issues have also been raised about the intuitiveness of the click-down SurePress screen and the minor updates for the Storm2 versus its 1.5-year-old predecessor.