Have you heard the rumor that Research in Motion is developing a tablet device? Of course you have. The Wall Street Journal reports that the device will include a 7-inch display, WiFi connectivity and a new operating system that RIM has yet to unveil. There is no word on pricing or availability.

What We Know Now

Here’s what’s been speculated thus far:

  • Name: the BlackPad
  • Date of Release: 4Q 2010
  • Size: seven-inch touch screen
  • Operating system: QNX OS
  • Components: one or two built-in cameras, Blue Tooth.
  • Notes: Insiders say that the device will not be sold with a cellular service.

What It Needs To Be Competitive

However, in order for RIM to have any leverage in the tablet market, which has mostly been dominated by Apple, their rumored table device better have a lot of junk in its trunk. And by junk we mean the following:

  • Software that is as good or better than Apple’s. According to the folks at eWeek.com, “BlackBerry OS 6 just isn't that solution. “ According to WSJ, RIM's tablet will feature a completely new platform built by QNX Software Systems. Let’s hope it makes a difference.
  • When the Cisco Cius was released people balked at a 7 inch screen. Let’s hope that RIM took note. Apple’s 9 inch screen has become a mainstay for magazine design and publishers can’t afford to design for specific devices -- they will pick the iPad because it’s what is popular.
  • RIM needs to think about its users. If iPads are for design geeks and gamers, how does RIM  suppose they’ll win that audience over? RIM needs to find its own niche and make its solutions powerful enough to gain their loyalty.
  • Anyone venturing into the tablet market should also invest wisely in an app store that offers a variety of quality apps. While they’re at it, RIM should come up with a mobile app security policy to ensure that their apps won’t put their user’s information at risk.

In addition to these concerns, the bottom line is that the BlackPad or whatever it’s called should be the Next Big Thing. If it’s not, why bother?