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RIM's iPad rival 'arrives next week'

BlackPad on launch pad

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Blackberry maker Research in Motion "could" unveil its iPad challenger next week at its developer conference in San Francisco, according to a report citing "people familiar with RIM's plans."

The Wall Street Journal reports that the long rumored RIM tablet – referred to by some within the company as the "BlackPad" – will reach the market in the fourth quarter with a 7-inch display and, um, either one or two cameras. It wil also offer BlueTooth and broadband networking, but it will only connect to cellular networks through the company's BlackBerry handhelds.

The tablet will not, the paper's sources say, use the RIM's BlackBerry 6 operating system. Instead, it will use a brand new OS fashioned by QNX Software System, the embedded OS outfit purchased by RIM earlier this year.

The Journal also says that RIM plans to eventually move its BlackBerry smartphone to the new QNX operating system as well. The tablet will be manufactured by Taiwan's Quanta Computer Inc., the paper's sources say, and it will use chips from Marvell Technology Group, an outfit based in Santa Clara, California. ®

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