When BlackBerry last jumped into the tablet game, it still had big ambitions to be a consumer device maker. That was made obvious by the name of its slate -- the PlayBook -- though little fun came from it, least of all for Research in Motion. It became one of many missteps the once ubiquitous company made on its way down to near irrelevance.
BlackBerry is struggling to climb back up, releasing the Passport phone late last year and the Leap phone a couple of weeks ago, and purchasing Secusmart to bolster its security bona fides. It's also recently partnered with Samsung to combine its KNOX platform with SecuSUITE, a tool Secusmart developed. That partnership is expanding in scope, with Blackberry announcing that it is working on a new tablet that's based on the Galaxy Tab S 10.5.
Dubbed the SecuTablet, the new device is designed for enterprises and public sector organizations that crave the highest levels of security, thanks in part to a further collaboration with IBM. Not surprisingly, it works with SecuSUITE for BlackBerry 10, which includes voice and data communication encryption.
As proof of just how secure the SecuTablet aims to be, the German Federal Office for Information Security is currently putting it through its certification process to grant it a classified-level security rating. Of course, BlackBerrys have long been the device of choice for the U.S. government, even as they have fallen out of favor with most consumers and many businesses.
While the SecuTablet isn't the bold reentry into the tablet market some may have hoped (or at least predicted) for BlackBerry, it's probably the type of device that will keep the company viable, one that emphasizes maximum security for enterprises of all stripes. Then again, this may not be the best week for BlackBerry to tout its security credentials, given that it's one of the victims of the FREAK security flaw, though it's hardly alone in that regard.
Pricing and availability for the SecuTablet weren't disclosed, but expect more details to emerge this week at the upcoming CeBIT event. [Update: According to the Wall St Journal, the tablet will be available this summer at a price of $2,380.]
[Image via crackberry.com]