Blackberry set to launch the BlackPad to rival Apple’s iPad

Blackberry is set to launch its rival to the Apple iPad by Christmas

Research In Motion (RIM), the company behind the Blackberry brand, is set to launch their rival to the Apple iPad with the BlackPad – a smaller and chunkier device.

The Blackberry rival, with built in camera and a seven-inch touch screen, is expected to be revealed next week at a developer’s conference in San Francisco.

The Wall Street Journal reports the Canadian company is planning to unveil the new BlackPad in time for Christmas.

The device is rumoured to offer users no less than two cameras to enable video conferencing and a slide-out keypad, which will appeal to many diehard blackberry users who prefer buttons to touch screens.

Blackberry’s share of global smartphone sales fell by 1% to 18% in the second quarter of 2010, according to Gartner, and has faced stiff competition from Apple and other Android-powered smartphones.

Despite this opposition, however, Blackberry still retains the biggest chunk of the smartphone market with about 39%, and is a popular choice among businesswomen in particular.

RIM’s version of the iPad will capitalise on the Blackberry’s fantastic email capabilities and the phone’s popularity within the business community.

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