RIM Places Order with Hon Hai for 8.9-inch Displays - RIM Considering Its Own BlackBerry Tablet?!

By Kevin Michaluk on 9 Apr 2010 11:08 am EDT

RIM Considering its own BlackBerry Tablet?

[*Original image removed by request*]

Now that I've got your attention with the BlackBerry Tablet photo (thanks James!), here's the scoop....

This week I received a bunch of emails, phone calls and BBMs from industry contacts seemingly out of the blue that were all to the tune of So what's this I hear about a BlackBerry Tablet?! It took a little digging to figure out where this BlackBerry Tablet stuff was coming from all of a sudden, but I got to the bottom of it. The source is from a research firm that specializes in component supply chain information - and the company sent out a brief report this week touting "RIMM to Launch Own Tablet in Late 2010" which got the industry insiders buzzing. The text in the image above that was sent in to us is from that report, which states three sources have confirmed that RIM has placed an order with supplier Hon Hai for 8.9" displays for use in a tablet.

Interesting stuff. I wouldn't read too much into it at this point in time (I can't see RIM trying to go head to head with the iPad just yet), but it at least shows RIM is playing with the notion of bigger screens. What's really interesting and to the contrary is that not too long ago RIM's Founder and Co-CEO Mike Lazaridis was on Walt Mossberg's D7 and when asked about a BlackBerry Tablet Mike L. dismissed it, saying "I don't see the benefits of a tablet over a notebook... A lot of technology falls in the middle." It could be the thought on this has changed with all of the tablet buzz of late.

Maybe today's announcement of RIM acquiring QNX Software is related to this report (8.9" displays for in-car touchscreen systems??) or maybe they're toying with an accessory to use with your BlackBerry (sort of like Celio's new touchscreen RedFly we showed you at MWC). Or maybe they do in fact have a team in Waterloo looking into building a full-out BlackBerry Tablet. Who knows. Could all be BS. At this point it's speculation.

So what do you think? BlackBerry Tablet? Yay or Nay? Sound off in the comments!

Reader comments

RIM Places Order with Hon Hai for 8.9-inch Displays - RIM Considering Its Own BlackBerry Tablet?!


I guess it's not... so maybe it's not an April Fools joke... but it sure seems like it might be one... not sure why RIM would jump into this market.

lol. i know... the image is april 1st looking (just had to throw in the guy holding the huge tablet for fun) but the source/story are legit.  whether you trust the source's information is up to you.... but it's coming from a fairly well known research firm - so at least they believe it or they wouldn't send it out to their subscribers/clients.

to me it seems a bit crazy... especially the time frame.  who knows. something to speculate on though for sure.

If in fact a Blackberry Tablet was put on the market, consider me first in line to get one! Screw Apple and their crappy gadgets....been a Blackberry fan too long.

They are trying to keep up with a trend here, can't blame them. However, they have been the trend setter with business mobile devices for years and that hasn't changed.

Your same comment could have been said about EVERYTHING apple announced yesterday.

Have to laugh at these iPhone lovers. Listen buddy had an iPhone for a year. The most painful phone experience of my life. Still recall being in Mexico and watching the iPhone "waiting wheel" spin round and round trying to find the local network. Pulled out my BB and it found the network in less than 2 seconds. Numerous other problems like zero battery life. The day I canned that phone for a bold was joyous!

Keep up with apple? God I hope not!

IF they were to make a tablet, what OS version would they put on it.

6.0 isn't due out til late this year right?

Would 6.0 be ready before Christmas?

RIM better focus more on their upcoming OS and devices to try to keep up with other competitors before worrying about moving into the tablet business.

deciding to take a an AP Calculus class.

RIM - is still truncating e-mail; still not providing automatic full html e-mail (security risk? really?); still unable to send or download anything larger than 3MG; still unable to play ringtones or alerts through headphones or bluetooth; still unable to fully utilize Open GL ES 1.1 on ANY device (limited Open GL ES 1.0 is available on 2-3 devices, but only in 3rd party applications, not the core apps and mot the browser); still unable to process adobe flash media; still using Java runtime limiting application size to less than 1/10th of other platforms; still unable to produce more than the smallest amount of available application memory of any smart phone made in the last 3 years. I could go on, but don't want to sit here and bash RIM. I'm just astounded that with so much still needing to be fixed they are all over the map with acquisitions. They remind me of that ADD dog,"squirrel!?"

...would not have been the acquisition of the auto entertainment systems but rather the acquisition of Palm. Talk about a marriage made in heaven!

Palm has a long history in business (of course - so does BB) but they also have a great OS in WebOS. If we could put something like that in OS 6.0 - look out MS and Apple!

I'm a big believer in specialization. RIM needs to stick with SmartPhones and SmartPhones only until they can make the best smartphone on the market. Once they accomplish that, then I'd be ok with them branching out to a larger blackberry tablet type thing.

The only pro to a table from RIM over Apple would be RIM's stronghold on the enterprise market w/BES. If they can do a BES connected that the enterprise would use in meetings, at the office, on job sites, in the field, etc... it may work depending on the applications.

heh. I love these 'fix this X issue before you do ANYthing else RIM!' comments.

Yes they need to fix X issue, and I'm betting that's happening.

But what makes you think they can only do ONE thing at a time? how about doing 3 or 4 things at the same time - doesn't that seem possible? Right?

"Yes they need to fix X issue, and I'm betting that's happening."

What has RIM shown you in the last two years to make you think they have any thing ground breaking in the works. My "trust first, see proof later" outlook on RIM has changed to, "pics or it didnt happen".

Webkit browser! OMG! Took a lot of thinking to come up with this answer! (sarcasm)

Seriously, you and others may think it's too late or taking too long or it's not groundbreaking(i agree with this last one, unless it does in fact include flash from the get go, but i doubt that), but, it shows that they are fixing their issues just as the previous commenter stated.

I'd rather RIM be a Master of one trade than a jack of all trades. I'm sure there are many others here that feel the same way.

From what I hear OS6.0 is going to put RIM back on top.

I'm a big BB fan and even I think there OS is lagging.
I got to play with a Sony Ericsson X10 couple of nights ago and WOW. Andriod runs so smoothly on that phone.

RIM needs to start running. There brisk walk isn't going to get them anywhere anytime soon. Hence the excursion into other markets. Maybe they will need to update there OS to a whole new level in order to support there new "Pad"

Count me out...I will stick with the IPad or Slate. I got screwed twice already with the Storm. If they are building like Apple off the IPhone OS then this thing is doomed!

I love how all of these uber successful business folks are giving RIM advice on how to run their company. LOL Bottom line, if they drop a tablet, clearly there will be interest. If its not for you, so be it. Nobody likes a fan boy. keep the bashing to yourself... Its seriously, LAME.

iPhone = iPad

Blackberry = Blackberry Tablet

Come on now. RIM I know you can do better than that. Keep to SmartPhones and keep with that. Quit following Apple's lead and think they know what to do.

It does seem odd that they would go to an area that it getting swarmed with players. Unless it is designed to be complimentary to some Enterprise client push. I'm a skeptic until I see one.

Why a tablet? I still fail to see why there is even a market for any tablet with a ported phone OS of any kind. With that said, I'll pass on any BB tablet unless it has Windows 7 on it like the Slate. That is the only way a tablet could effectively fit in my lifestyle, and I'm sure there are others who agree.

Take the iPad for instance. If it had Mac OSX on it, I'm willing to bet it would have had preorder numbers over 2x of what it had, and I would've been one of them!

Doesn't have what it takes to do this. Fix the phones first before you go that route.Still funny shi1 tho. A giant storm tablet will be just like storm 1 when it first came out. Good laugh...

well i`ll tell ya why, ipad sales figures, i mean lets be honest here, RIM are gonna go where the money is, its as simple as that.
as long as they get the execution right(ish) then all will be good, plus look on the bright side everyone saying `fix this fix that` if you make a tablet, you NEED a good browser, so maybe this would help.
everyones saying `why build a tablet` when they should be saying `right, this is gonna be huge for RIM, which means more money for them to put into phone development, result :)`

The only probelm with this is WHEN? This will come out MAYBE end of this year? Sometime next year? They'll see revenue from this after that.

So WHEN will they put money into phone developement and upgrades in software? And how long will we have to wait??

Becuase i'm only waiting until this October--after that, i'm turning into a little green android!!! hahahahahahaha


yea thats a fair point, but some things just have to play out long term, i mean my contract is up next january (12 month contracts only)so im hoping something nice will be floating my way by then :)

also, lets not kid ourselves here, R+D is offset against tax, as if ya use the money internally its not calulated in company tax spend, so rather than give to tax, re-invest. Its what porsche did, thats how the Cayenne off roader was made, it was a tax dodge, that everyone then wanted!!

I love Apple ( mostly their laptops) but am a little dissappointed at RIM's attend to "keep up"...why be a follower when it was once a leader with the Blackberry smartphone (I have and love my 9700). RIM needs a new plan!

A tablet with a BB web browser? How cute. Maybe in a couple of years it'll even have touchscreen capabilities. Look out iPad!

The one piece of information we know - the screen size, would already lose to apple in a comparison and the Apple is already out not just in development stage...

Please RIM make Dakota. We are sick of waiting and trying to be loyal, with week after week of no fruit for our labour.

I hope they make it easy to do a battery pull on this.
What they should really do is concentrate on trying to produce a decent phone to compete with the iPhone and Android phones.

its only logical to RIM to make it with one giant screen that clicks. UI input is the most important thing about a touch device. Learn that RIM.

What about a Blackberry netbook that can tether and interact with a Blackberry handheld?

Why don't they try to perfect the phones first or at least improve upon them?

Will it crash as much as my BlackBerry? ("Please Reload Software eror 502, etc...)"

They should really perfect a simpler way to recover a crashed device.

RIM still has a lot to do with the blackberry. sorry RIM you are not Apple people will not buy a RIM OS tablet that will suck and be limited.

Imagine how crappy RIM's sorry excuse for HTML email would look on this...LOL. If you set it to single line, you could fit about a thousand emails on the screen :-)

Seriously, they'd better get the UI team on a 24-hour workday first if they ever want to release a tablet.

With all the comments here you would think the iphone and ipad are perfect. Its easy to pick on rim, cause we use the phone every min. The iphone and ipad have there problems too. Not saying who's better but I didn't buy my bb to watch movies on. Fyi my battery goes bad I can buy a new one. Iphone or ipad can you say into the shop for a new battery. Lol

So the comments are basically divided into 3 categories:

1) It will suck, iPad forever, RIM makes terrible phones, therefore terrible BlackBerry Tablet.

2) I love it, I will buy it because I like BlackBerries, so I will buy it. I trust RIM to not drop the ball.

3) I love my BlackBerry, but RIM cannot hope to succeed in this market, the market that the iPad / [Other Device] already dominates.


Common thread points are easy to spot and a few things to keep in mind. We know 2 whole things about this BlackLet, BlackBerryXL or TableBerry. 1) 8.9" Screen. 2) RIM is making it.

We don't know specs. We don't know target audience beyond obvious conclusion that it will interact with existing BlackBerries. We don't know hardware or software, and we don't know ... well ... anything.

Interesting point that many are forgetting, is how much buzz there was around the iPad prior to launch, with hopes, dreams, as well as laments and expecting failure. In the end, those expecting failure will likely get what they're looking for. Those with hopes and dreams with the iPad were dashed in many categories. Even the happiest owner of the iPad is not sure how to hold it. (Take away an inch or two, ... maybe that's fixed?) Even the happiest owner of the iPad wishes it was more than just a big iPod. (Where's the true multi-tasking? You know, that thing that RIM has down pretty well?) It doesn't have Flash. (Skyfire maybe?) If the iPad buzz was mostly incorrect or ignored (USB what? Camera?), isn't it reasonable to assume that the BlackBerryXL will also have incorrect / ignored speculation, possibly in a good way? (Given the ultra-negative statements...)

Fact is, no matter how you look at it, iPhone OS 4.0 is playing catchup with other OS's. There wasn't anything that shouldn't have already been there. RIM needs a new browser, but otherwise is doing quite well in other categories that the iPhone is just now being heralded for 'innovating'. No hate for the iPhone, simply, this time it's just an update.

Instead of whining about something we know nothing about, perhaps it would be better to be objectively speculative. Focus on the facts. Flamewars belong on 4chan.

I would love it if rim release the table blackberry that would be so sweet and it should double as a phone and video chat now that would be doing it up blowing the Ipad away yep

Is there even a market for a business pad? How about a 4" Storm with a more intuitive, modern UI & a great set of office tools?

I don't see berrypads replacing netbooks/ultraportables except for where BIS is advantageous, and the whole point of Push is to have it readily available in your palm.

Gimme the webkit browser, voip, offline maps, more polished usable in-house business tools and RIM's devices would squash each and every competitor away.

I don't see why it has to be a tablet. The source says nothing about these being TOUCH screens, and the other device referenced as made by Hon Hai is not touchscreen. Nothing in there says "tablet" except for speculation in the wake of the iPhad (tm).

My guess is that this is the Folio reborn for the Blackberry platform. See Celio Redfly. But before you get crazy thinking that Folio = doom, just consider the netbook boom that ensued shortly after Palm's ill-fated device was announced. A boom that gave birth to the hotly anticipated Redfly -- which is basically just a Folio for use with all smartphones, not just Palms.

My $$ bets netbook/ultraportable smartphone companion with a laptop form-factor and an 8.9 inch screen, and NOT a tablet.

I know that RIM will create a great product. But ABOVE ALL I think that this Blackberry Tablet will send the ipad directly to itrash...

Way to go RIM..

That's absolutely hysterical.

They've had years and yet to work on it yet RIM can't even come up with a phone to even come close to the iPhone . Storm 1=FAIL,Storm 2=FAIL, and these were definitely what RIM thought would be iPhone killers. And this is in their own field, mobile smart phones! Do you think they could possibly beat Apple in their field. That's a joke. If anyone is going to the trash it's RIM.

Hahaha Kevin u r one funni turkey. You did get my attention with that photo. And James, nice job :-bd Now imma scroll up n read the article.

This is probably WAY off base here, but that's what's great about speculation... anything is possible!

The venture into a tablet style device (if that's what this info really indicates) may not be primarily driven by a desire to compete with the iPad. What if the new OS is actually so much better than the current one that somebody said "Hey, the way this software is written, we could toss it on a tablet-sized device..." And another guy/gal said "We should definitely see where this could go. That iPad thingy is selling like crazy and our new OS would run great on a similar device!"

With things like 4G and WiFi this would make one hell of a mobile business tool. You could send and receive your business emails on a full sized screen, review documents and presentations, video-conference, and worlds of other possibilities.

Everybody is basing their negativity off of the 'current state of RIM', and I'll admit that they have recently been releasing new things that aren't new at all. You can't keep a good company down forever though!

I'll start off by saying that OS 6.0 will make or break this thing but at the same time.........Thank Jesus.......I swear I was just thinking about a BB tablet a couple days ago. Its is wonderful to see RIM actually branch out and try something new if indeed a tablet us on the way. Ya'll gotta realize that RIM knows that too many would be excited about a tablet running on the current BB OS. OS 6 has to be drastically different if they're putting it into a new tablet. Either that or its a complete new OS just for this tablet even though I doubt that. This thing would be lighter and more mobile than an ipad. Combine that wit RIM's push tech, the new browser coming and the biggest screen we've been able to handle and there's a lot this thing has going for it. I'm definitely interested In this. A storm3 and this tablet would be wonderful

If this is true, I would like to see GSM users to be able to pull the existing sim card out of the bb phone and put it into the bb tablet, so I dont have to pay for another data plan.

OMG... Really?! should of try to release a better OS for the storm1 user out there then this fuckin ipad wanna be and plus some other shit RIM to need to fix... OMG haha im going crazy "Blackberry Tablet" get the fuck outta here.

Oh by the way ima storm2 owner im just speaking on behalf the storm nation =)

The two major weaknesses or RIM products are OS and web browser. Compare this to the iPad which has a strong OS and web browser. People are already questioning the purpose of the iPad with its huge app eco-system. I can only assume that this is either a joke or bad information. If not I have even more reason to be happy about the HTC Incredible. They really just need to put themselves out of their misery and give their assets to Palm. Ultimately they are the better of the dying smart phone platforms.

Considering RIM is know for Blackberry's, why try to keep up with this Apple Ipad. It would ruin the whole context of RIM and Blackberry. RIM makes killer Blackberrys and they have stuck with it through thick and thin. Now if the make a tablet, it will be extending out of the cell phone market and that is where RIM does not need to go. Keep it with the Blackberrys RIM and let's call it good!

This tendency of blogs to jump on one little piece of information and draw unfounded conclusions would be funny if it wasn't for the fact that dozens of commenters then jump on this made-up conclusion as a reason to bash the company it is made about e.g. a few weeks ago there was that roughly pearl-sized qwerty keypad and the conclusion jumped to there was a qwerty pearl when it seems like that must be for an unknown device unless they intend 3 of those.

Knowing how intelligent RIM is, it would have 250 mb for app memory.

I'm gone when my contract is up and iPhone OS 4 is out. Rim got 1 too many chances from me. OS 6 could come out tomorrow and it's still 3 years too late...

i love the idea that blackberries are being competitive. when i saw the ipad idea i thought, "what a fantastic electronic way to keep valuable information in a secure all in one location"

phone numbers, notes, books, all while reading the news on the web, FANTASTIC.

i don't know much about the ipad, but if BB comes out with a tablet it should strictly be so with WIFI and shouldn't require a phone plan, for it would be redundant and why not just keep the above stated material in your laptop, right?

surepress technology? its fun and interactive, so i find on my beautiful storm2, and i would welcome the technology in a tablet.

absolutely fantastic idea!

RIM making a tablet ... right ... I'll let someone else take that leap of faith ... Already got burned with the multimedia fail device called teh 9530 ... I wont let RIM burn me again on a craptastic attempt to keep up with the current market.

Think about the possibility of a Foleo/Redfly device where the BlackBerry is still the only endpoint to protect but giving users the ability to RDP into server/terminal server/desktops. Who known, this may be where the QNX RTOS fits in. They may or may not be related however you can be certain that if the order took place for a large quantity, RIM wants to move fast and the QNX acquisition could be related where RIM needed something from QNX for their plan, be it a real time kernel or IP. Time will tell.

As a BES admin running completely HA (highly available) spanning multiple data centers could see many of my users using their BlackBerry devices with SharePoint via WICKsoft and a new release of Document to Go on a device like this.

Sure Apple has the shiny devices everyone drools over but when it comes down to getting the job done, personal or business, more folks rely on the BlackBerry. They will need to speed up their inovation (and this is happening already).

And when can people start realizing that the browser is coming, just because they have multiple things brewing it doesn't mean that the dedicated team isn't working on day and night. Relax, why drop everything, halt devices and innovation while they work on one product? Too many hands in the pot can be disastrous!