Can RIM's "BlackPad" tablet compete against the iPad?

Can RIM's "BlackPad" tablet compete against the iPad?

Summary: Research in Motion had a massive advantage in the smart phone market when Apple first launched the iPhone -- and we all know what happened next. RIM has had to withstand that blow against its BlackBerry brand, as well as seeing the Android platform making significant inroads with smart phone buyers.

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Research in Motion had a massive advantage in the smart phone market when Apple first launched the iPhone -- and we all know what happened next. RIM has had to withstand that blow against its BlackBerry brand, as well as seeing the Android platform making significant inroads with smart phone buyers. Now that the iPad has jumped out to a big head start in the tablet market, could the rumored RIM tablet, the "BlackPad," play the spoiler against Apple?

According to Bloomberg, the BlackPad will arrive in November sporting the same 9.7-inch form factor as the iPad. RIM's tablet could ship with two big features that the iPad lacks: a pair of cameras -- one front-facing for video chats and one rear-facing; and the ability to tether the tablet to a Blackberry phone so it can gain Internet access when it's out of range of a Wi-Fi network. Of course, the BlackPad would presumably have all of the security features that make RIM the vendor of choice for most enterprises.

There could be some drawbacks to RIM's approach, however. Unlike the iPad, the BlackPad doesn't look like it will be sold with a cellular option (maybe not a big deal if you always have your BlackBerry with you to tether to), and the RIM app store has a fraction of apps that the iPad/iPhone ecosystem possesses. In addition, RIM has trailed Apple in the touchscreen department to date, and while the new BlackBerry OS 6 could rectify many deficiencies, it's still untested. (See a slideshow of new features for it here.) RIM supposedly will price the BlackPad at iPad price points, which means it won't gain any market share from people looking to spend less on a tablet.

As a result, RIM's tablet doesn't look like it will make a big impact in the consumer realm, where cheaper Android-based slates should exert pricing pressure on Apple. But the iPad has opened eyes in the business world, where tablets finally seem like a viable device to be used in the workplace. The BlackPad could prevent the iPad from making bigger inroads with corporations, more and more of which seem to be coming around to accepting the iPhone as an enterprise-worthy device. Getting the jump on Apple in video conferencing using tablets could be RIM's killer app when it launches. The question then becomes how well the BlackPad will fare once the second generation of the iPad hits the scene.

Topics: Tablets, Hardware, Laptops, Mobility, BlackBerry

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14 comments
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  • No

    Next silly rhetorical, page-view-grabbing headline.
    davebarnes
  • It will certainly indicate if there is a market

    If there is a market for oversized, finger painting, media players then seeing the take-up on RIM will be a good indication. Apple sales fall under the kool-aid and pet rock category, so it'll be interesting to see if the market really exists and whether people will enjoy lugging these media players around.
    tonymcs@...
    • Your "logic" is hard to argue. Wait a tic not it's isn't!!!

      @tonymcs@...
      All those iPad sales that have been and continue on can't be counted? All the tablet sales that have fallen flat for about a decade now that were NOT made by Apple also prove NOTHING!?! I would choose another argument that Apple got the tablet concept right and that based on a decade's worth of actual research on the subject meaning sales of said products ie tablets that others did not get it right. Still I suppose I could be wrong and you could be right. Except that my argument has well all the facts on it's side and yours seems to be based on a negative emotional view of all things Apple.

      Pagan jim
      James Quinn
  • RE: Can RIM's

    Blackberry are really trying to catch up with technology as apple do, though slowly, but surely; Now, all they have to do is add more free (useful) apps, Because the RIM app store just has a fraction of apps that the iPad/iPhone ecosystem possesses. But I'm puzzled; iTunes is so strict that third-party software like ifunia, who declared they are dedicated in creating affordable and easy multimedia software to simplify your Mac life, actually they did, cannot get in to it. Can you tell me why apple have so many apps, more than blackberry, and succeeded time and again? Isn't Because of money?
    pennwarren
  • No, I prefer ipad.

    I prefer ipad.
    I love my iPad. It has almost completely replaced my personal computer. For the things I do... Is is perfect! Much nicer than any CPU I have ever owned. All my other computers would do a lot of things I would never use it for, and do it painfully in the process (slow, buggy, etc.). When you get down to what you do most on you personal computer... the iPad does almost all of the things an average user needs, and with a much much nicer U/I. Easy of use, fast, and efficient. The other computer manufacturers could learn a thing or two from this, but even if they do... they will probably screw-up the one they come out with by adding all the crap back in again. Ugggggg!!!!

    I am sticking with my iPad. I think other will do the same once they try it and realize it is the perfect personal computer :-)
    And some of my collections: http://www.ifunia.com/ipad-column/index.html
    www.ipadhelpguide.net/
    make the cool device more fun.
    summer77
    • RE: Can RIM's

      @summer77
      <i>"Is is perfect! Much nicer than any CPU I have ever owned."</i>

      ...
      dcfan1
      • He is 100% correct

        CPUs are
        - tiny about the size of the screen on an iPod Classic.
        - get super hot and can burn the skin. No chance to use it as touch screen.
        - don't have a display or even support for an external one.
        - no web access ... or even network access.
        - you can only get them in charcoal black.

        So, yes! iPads are nicer than any CPU in the market.
        wackoae
  • RIM can't

    So I have to lug my Blackberry *in addition* to my Blackpad? Interesting.
    Greensleever
  • What about seen it 1st?

    Seriously, who can you speculate about a product that doesn't even exist. If it ever gets to the market, then we can see what it can provide compared to an iPad.

    My gosh!! This thing is not even in vaporware state and you are asking if it can take on the iPad?
    wackoae
    • This is an improvement

      @wackoae
      At least the blog wasn't called:
      [i]Is the BlackPad an iPad killer?[/i]

      Baby steps.
      NonZealot
      • AMAZING.. Funny and sensible. What have you done

        @NonZealot
        to my beloved friend NonZ!?! YOU BASTARD!!!!

        Pagan jim
        James Quinn
  • RE: Can RIM's

    It can compete nicely if there is a market for pads and tablets.
    Loverock Davidson
  • RE: Can RIM's

    Blackpad will probably eat away at Microsoft's Courier and HP's Slate market share rather than iPad's. (is there a sarcasm font yet?)
    dheady@...
  • I AM NOT SURE!!

    I am a big fan of the IPAD ever since it came out. The BlackPad looks like a good device but the pricing i am wondering about...... The IPAD is priced at $500 (for a 16gb), and the "BlackPad" might be more priced since it might have 2 camera's. Also remember, Samsung is coming out with the "Samsung Galaxy Tab." This device has the same things as the IPAD and the BlackPad. Features: 2 camera's, touch screen, 7 inch screen (better than lugging around an 9.7 inch screen), video recording, etc. Try out this website: http://galaxytab.samsungmobile.com/ . This all these devices look very interesting and i hope to try one soon!
    tomster135