No shortage of BlackBerry related rumors this fine Monday morning.
The first relates to RIM’s oft-talked-about yet never-before-seen “BlackBerry Tablet,” which some expect to compete with Apple’s mega-popular iPad device.
The rumor, which comes to us from Rodman & Renshaw Managing Director and Analyst Ashok Kumar, via CNET, says BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion (RIM) is working to get its BlackBerry Tablet out the door before the end of this year. Kumar also suggests that tablet will be “small” at just 7 inches in width. And it will pack a powerful, 1GHz processor and two cameras, one front-facing and one on the gadget’s back side, which could be used for video conferencing.
The processor is thought to be made by Marvell and could prove to be the company’s 1GHz Armada 610 processor for mobile devices. (Such a chip could support HD 1080p playback, 16-megapixel image captures, and advanced 3D graphics, CNET says.) Kumar also suggests that Marvell could provide the BlackBerry Tablet’s “baseband silicon,” which is used for 3G connectivity.
Various rumors regarding the BlackBerry Tablet hit the Web over the past few months, and though it’s almost certain the device is in RIM’s pipeline, it’s still unclear whether or not the gadget will indeed be an iPad-like media-centric device or a business-oriented “smartphone companion,” not unlike Palm’s failed “Foleo.”
The second noteworthy rumor of the week pertains to RIM’s upcoming BlackBerry mobile OS, BlackBerry 6. (See BlackBerry 6 in action here.) RIM has promised the new software before the end of 2010. And considering most of the images and video we’ve seen of BlackBerry 6 appears to be on the unreleased, GSM BlackBerry slider 9800, which may or may not be called the “Torch,” it’s very likely that the BlackBerry 9800 will be the first RIM device released with BlackBerry 6.
What’s unknown at this point is when RIM’s new OS will make it to CDMA BlackBerry devices meant for Verizon and Sprint’s U.S. networks, among others. A new rumor from Kaufman Bros. Analyst Shaw Wu, via Electronista.com, says RIM’s new OS won’t make it to any CDMA BlackBerry until late 2010 or early 2011.
RIM’s expected to release the BlackBerry 9800 in the next month or so on AT&T in the United States, and it seems likely that any CDMA device running BlackBerry 6, possibly the BlackBerry 9670 clamshell, will be at least a few months behind the slider, probably no earlier than December 2010.
That’s bad news for CrackBerry-addicts on CDMA-carriers, but anyone familiar with RIM’s CDMA-device release-history knows that Mr. Wu is probably right on target with his estimates. RIM’s CDMA carrier-partners have in the past typically lagged behind their GSM-counterparts in releasing new BlackBerry smartphones, mostly because a much larger percentage of the world’s countries employ GSM technology, and it makes more sense for RIM to offer GSM devices first.
Al Sacco was a journalist, blogger and editor who covers the fast-paced mobile beat for CIO.com and IDG Enterprise, with a focus on wearable tech, smartphones and tablet PCs. Al managed CIO.com writers and contributors, covered news, and shared insightful expert analysis of key industry happenings. He also wrote a wide variety of tutorials and how-tos to help readers get the most out of their gadgets, and regularly offered up recommendations on software for a number of mobile platforms. Al resides in Boston and is a passionate reader, traveler, beer lover, film buff and Red Sox fan.