Rumors of a BlackBerry tablet should not surprise anyone. They've been doing the rounds for months now and most of them say RIM will introduce a tablet device in time for the holiday season. However, a report in the Wall Street Journal suggests RIM may introduce us to its BlackBerry slate as early as next week.
The Wall Street Journal's Phred Dvorak cites people familiar with the matter that say Canadian BlackBerry manufacturer Research in Motion could unveil its BlackBerry tablet, complete with brand new OS, at a developer conference in San Francisco next week. WSJ's sources say the device is scheduled for release in the fourth quarter of this year, will be manufactured by Quanta, run on Marvell chips and pack a 7-inch display as well as "one or two" built-in cameras. In line with previous rumors, the people said the device would have Bluetooth and broadband connections "but will only be able to connect to cellular networks through a BlackBerry smartphone."
So far nothing we hadn't already heard over the last few months, other than those snippets about Quanta and Marvell. However, what is interesting is that the Journal's sources say BlackBerry has decided to pass on BlackBerry 6, its newest version of the BlackBerry 6 OS, in favor of a completely new OS build by QNX Software Systems. RIM purchased QNX earlier this year, and is said to be planning to transition all BlackBerrys to a QNX OS.
The name of the tablet is not yet known, although WSJ says some inside RIM are calling it the BlackPad. Earlier this week documents filed with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office revealed that RIM had filed for a trademark on the name 'SurfBook'. During the summer, the company snagged the blackpad.com URL.