As BlackBerry users flock away and buy new smart phones, the maker of the seminal business phone may be preparing to release a brand new tablet computer and operating system to counter the iPhone/iPad revolution, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

Research In Motion Ltd. may announce its tablet at the BlackBerry Developer Conference in San Francisco, the Journal reported, citing anonymous sources familiar with RIM’s plans.

The tablet has been called BlackPad by many, partly in reference to the iPad.

The tablet would have a 7-inch screen, at least one, possibly two, cameras, Bluetooth, and Wifi. It won’t be a phone in and of itself, but it can be plugged into a Blackberry. This is a drawback.

The device would also use a brand new OS under development by QNX Software Systems, which RIM bought in April.

The sudden launch of the iPad, and its resulting popularity, have spurred manufacturers to follow suit. Tablets have been around for years, but they failed to gain momentum before Apple launched the iPad.

About The Author

John Guilfoil is the editor-in-chief of Blast: Boston's Online Magazine and the Blast Magazine Network. He can be reached at [email protected]. Tweet @johnguilfoil.

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