Report: QNX Software to power RIM's BlackPad

Posted by Aharon Etengoff

An advanced operating system developed by QNX Software will reportedly power RIM's future BlackPad tablet.

According to Bloomberg, QNX technology is currently used by a number of companies for a wide variety of applications.

For example, QNX software can be found in audio systems designed by BMW and a navigational platform developed by Carnegie Mellon University for an autonomous military vehicle dubbed the "Crusher."

But can QNX Software's sophisticated OS help the corporate-oriented BlackPad take on Apple's iPad?

Well, Evercore Partners analyst Alkesh Shah told Bloomberg that QNX technology could allow RIM to leverage indie software developers, while building on the tremendous popularity of its BlackBerry smartphone with corporate customers.

"The iPad is very much a device for consuming," explained Shah. 

"[But] what's not out there is a tablet for creating, for production."

Ashok Kumar, an analyst with Rodman & Renshaw, expressed similar sentiments, noting that incorporating QNX into the BlackPad may permit RIM to take advantage of the software's "broad" use.

"As long as it's a good-enough product, they should have a fighting chance," said Kumar.

The BlackPad is widely expected to launch in November with "roughly the same dimensions" as Apple's popular iPad.