Blackberry maker RIM to announce iPad rival soon

The announcement of a RIM tablet could be as soon as next week at a developers' conference in San Francisco…

Blackberry-maker Research In Motion (RIM) is expected to announce plans for a tablet computer to compete with Apple's iPad.

The announcement of the RIM tablet could be as soon as next week at a developers' conference in San Francisco, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The paper, citing sources familiar with RIM's plans, said the device - dubbed Blackpad - will have a seven-inch touchscreen, one or two cameras, and Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, but will be able to connect to mobile phone networks only through a Blackberry.

The Blackpad will run on a new operating system built by QNX Software Systems, which was acquired by RIM earlier this year.

The paper said RIM also plans to move its Blackberry smartphones to the QNX operating system.

The Blackpad is expected to be available in the last quarter of 2010 as RIM faces increasing competition from Apple's iPhone and handsets running Google's Android mobile operating system.

Blackberry's share of worldwide smartphone sales fell one percentage point to 18% in the second quarter of this year compared with 2009, as the share of Android and Apple devices rose, according to research firm Gartner.

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