Blackberry tablet in the works?

Blackberry maker, Research In Motion (RIM) may be working on a tablet product to directly compete with the Apple iPad. There isn’t too much information out there about this potential product, except that it will have a slightly smaller screen than the iPad and some other specs that I won’t mention because everyone seems to have conflicting information. There are only two other specs about this Blackberry tablet that seem accurate at this time: the first is that it will feature a slide out keyboard, along with an on-screen keyboard to give the user the option and the second thing is that it will support Flash.

That last point is the most interesting. Flash is used by many websites and Apple is notoriously against allowing its iPhone and iPad to run the software. This means that watching many types of video and browsing many websites in their entirety is not possible. If the Blackberry tablet will run Flash, this can be one of the biggest selling points it will have against the iPad.

If you have read any of my other posts on the iPad then you know I am not a big fan of it. Other than a relatively small demographic of rich people that have everything (including, but not limited to spoiled kids), the iPad is completely redundant and offers nothing of value that cannot be found on either the iPhone or a laptop. Regardless, it seems that a very high percentage of the market segment I just mentioned ends up buying the iPad, making it a potentially worthwhile market to be in.

Due to the tablet not being the best at anything, the market can not possibly be as big as it is for laptops or smartphones. Some anecdotal evidence to support this statement can be found at your nearest Apple store. You will likely see that the store is packed as it always is. You will probably have to wait a little to get your hands on the test products on the tables in the store. However, the product that you are likely to wait the least amount of time for is the iPad. Every time I visit the Apple store, I always see that the iPad section is the least populated and there is almost always a test iPad that is not being used. To me that shows that what I have been saying about it all along is right.

Regardless, many companies are working on their own tablets and the Blackberry one seems like it will have many of the same features as the iPad, plus the all-important Flash support. The biggest knock on RIM’s products has been that the user interface looks ancient. It looks like you’re staring at the back end of a computer system with boring lines and fonts. If they want to succeed with this tablet, they will definitely have to update that user interface. The current one will look so ugly on the larger tablet screen that it will be more of a joke than anything else. The rumour is that they are working on exactly that problem, so when this tablet product eventually comes out I will be looking to see how far they’ve come. More importantly, I will be looking to see if their tablet serves an actual purpose, unlike the iPad.