Among many rumors of the upcoming ‘BlackPad’ (BlackBerry Tablet) announcement I thought it would be fun to predict what the five key features of the new device would be, as the Brockmann & Company contribution to the speculation fever. On a separate note, you know how it is that pundits can predict that RIM will announce something on Tuesday? RIM media relations people went to the reporters and said ‘we’re having a big announcement on Tuesday. Can you come and cover it?’ The reporter may have asked, ‘Is this the BlackPad announcement?’ And the PR pro answered, ‘Maybe, nudge, nudge, wink, wink.’ So, the only thing we know for sure is that there’s a RIM media briefing next week. [Apple does the same thing.]
DISCLAIMER: Brockmann & Company has no prior knowledge and cannot be held accountable for any decisions you might make as a result of reading this post. This is a pure speculative piece and the authors cannot be held accountable. Period. Enjoy.
First of all, the device will not be called the BlackPad. It will be named BlackBerry Torro, or Zoe or something, but not any of the nicknames already bantered about. Marketers have so little power in so many companies, and naming is one domain that RIM has shown some separation between the engineers and the marketers, in deference to the marketers. Besides, names cost big $$$ and nicknames as product names cost even more. It will be a BlackBerry though, even as the latest speculation is that the OS supported will not be the latest BlackBerry 6. RIM is in the middle of a transition to a new OS, just as Apple transitioned years ago to OS X from Mac OS. It’s always a messy and painful transition.
Secondly, BlackPad will carry the company’s signature email service. As part of that is the ability to read PDFs, show PPTs, modify XLS and Word-format documents – all the things you can do within the framework of the BlackBerry email client and all the things a mobile user wants to be able to do.
Thirdly, the BlackPad will include a free license to the BlackBerry Mobile Voice System. Of course without the server component this functionality will not be useful, but it will certainly stimulate market pull for the capability to receive enterprise-initiated mobile calls on the device.
Fourthly, there will be a camera on the unit in anticipation of video conferencing application support, although there will be no video software released at this time.
Fifth, there will be a full keyboard on the device which will limit screen size. BlackBerry users are adamant about that feature. They’ve always appreciated the full keyboard even on tiny smart phones and this case is no exception.