Report: RIM developing BlackBerry tablet

Research In Motion is reportedly developing several new BlackBerry smartphone handsets, which is no surprise, but they’re also rumored to be developing a tablet device according to a recent report published by the Wall Street Journal.

Details are still slim, but one of the new BlackBerry smartphones in development should include a new OS, 5-megapixel camera and four GB of internal storage.

Report: RIM developing BlackBerry tablet

The unconfirmed tablet is said to be an ideal partner device for the BlackBerry smartphone, as it provides a larger screen and can be connected to the phone.  Hardware and software specifications weren’t made available, though it is also expected to run the latest version of RIM’s mobile software.

It could be released before the end of the year, but an exact time frame wasn’t mentioned.

There was a recent rumor of a RIM BlackBerry tablet, but this newer report indicates it’s more of a companion product.  Last month’s rumored BlackBerry tablet indicated an early 2011 launch is possible, but didn’t say anything else.

Even though its smartphone marketshare is declining, RIM is still No. 2 in global smartphone sales, as the company trails only Nokia.  Nokia, which remains the No. 1 smartphone maker in the world, also plans to test the tablet market sometime in early 2011.

RIM is now looking for a new market to enter as the Apple iPhone, Google Android-powered phones, and other smartphone rivals continue to pressure the company.  The BlackBerry, which used to be a corporate workhorse, has been forced to evolve into a device for both enterprise and consumer market users.

I welcome a change of pace for RIM, which needs to find new ways to stay relevant in a changing market.  I don’t believe the company is on the verge of collapse, but something must be done to ensure the company can keep consumers interested in its brand.