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RIM answers Apple iPad with...The BlackPad*

* - offensive humor may vary

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BlackBerry maker Research in Motion is preparing to launch an iPad competitor in November, and it will be called the BlackPad, according to a report citing two people familiar with the company's plans.

Bloomberg reports that the RIM tablet will have roughly the same dimensions as the iPad, offer WiFi and Bluetooth, and give you the option of tapping the interwebs through the company's BlackBerry handsets.

According to whois records, RIM has acquired the rights to blackpad.com, indicating that the company will intend use a name that sounds ominous at best – and a source of cringe-inducing humor at worst. We would make a joke at its expense, but that would be very unwise.

Bloomberg sources also say that the tablet will be priced "in line" with the iPad, which sells for $499 and up, and one analyst – citing sources at suppliers in Asia – says that it will offer both front and rear cameras for videoconferencing.

But it will not, according to Bloomberg's sources, offer cellular network access the way the iPad does.

Next week, RIM is hosting a press event in New York, and the word is that it will unveil a new BlackBerry 9800 slider phone, which will offer an iPhone-like touch screen as well as a pull-out physical keyboard.

Apparently, the company has no intention of introducing a WhitePad. A white pad will remain an apartment where rhythm-challenged people wear khaki pants and eat Wonder Bread with mayonnaise. ®

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One Reg reader also points out that "black pad" is a defect that causes electronic circuit failure. It seems that RIM has also risked the ridicule of anyone who carries a soldering gun.

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