Rumor: RIM to offer 8.9 in. BlackBerry tablet

Research in Motion is preparing a BlackBerry tablet device to complement its smartphones, according to an unconfirmed report.

Research in Motion is preparing a BlackBerry tablet device to complement its smartphones, according to an unconfirmed report.

The rumor, first published by Boy Genius Report, entails that RIM has an 8.9-inch "companion" tablet in the wings, which will not offer mobile broadband directly but instead rely on a Bluetooth or Wi-Fi "tether," if I may, to operate.

The device will be multimedia focused -- "think e-books, emailing, web browsing, photo viewing," BGR writes -- and appears to be the successor to a monochrome tablet that had been developed.

The launch of the tablet is planned for the holiday season, around December.

There must be something in the water in Waterloo, because it sounds to me like the tablet will really just be a showcase for its new web browser.

I've written before that I believe RIM has considerable distance to go to optimize its operating system for touch-only input; the possibility that the company would divide needed resources between this and its flagship devices is baffling to me.

I have a hard time believing such a device will be anything more than an expensive accessory to a BlackBerry smartphone.