Blackberry isn't finished with tablets

Posted by Trent Nouveau

A leaked Blackberry road map seems to indicate the beleaguered company plans on having another go at the lucrative tablet sector.

According to the purported road map, the Blackberry is currently prepping a tablet, phablet (U10-Aristo), and phablet-like device with a hardware QWERTY keyboard of its own.

Tentatively dubbed the B10, the roadmap offers no additional details about the potential iPad competitor, but it appears similar, at least in dimensions, to Google's Nexus 10 and Apple's full-sized Apple iPads.

As AppleInsider's Kevin Bostic notes, if the device were to actually materialize, it would represent BlackBerry's second foray at breaking into the tablet space.

"The Canadian manufacturer previously released a 7-inch PlayBook tablet, meant to provide enterprise-minded customers with a more portable alternative to Apple's iPad, which dominated the tablet segment then as it does now," wrote Bostic.

"Poor software implementation and developer support, though, doomed the PlayBook to sluggish sales even as Apple's tablet moved to greater heights."

Then again, a new tablet could help the company expand its current Blackberry lineup and make it more attractive for individuals seeking an iOS or Android alternative.

Indeed, as BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins said in March, the corporation would have to do something "really substantial and meaningful... [and] profitable as well," if it were to re-enter the tablet space.

"I think the profit pool is very, very thin," Heins told the Australian Financial Review.

"Kudos to Apple, I think they really managed to own that space, so it doesn't make sense for me to just take this head on. I need to figure out, for my enterprise customers, for my consumers, for my BB10 audience, what can I do that provides them a mobile computing experience in the form factor of a tablet, which goes beyond just the puristic tablet experience."