RIM tablet said to be 'companion device'

A report says Research in Motion's tablet will be a device that works in conjunction with its successful line of smartphones.

Jeff Hawkins told CNET that the Foleo was the best idea he'd ever had when he unveiled it in June 2007 at D: All Things Digital. The device, which was sort of like a Netbook, but relied on a Treo for its processing power and connectivity, was scrapped by Palm and never reached the market. CNET

So that RIM tablet? It's not going to be a tablet in the standard sense.

Boy Genius Report said on Thursday that it confirmed with multiple sources that the upcoming Research In Motion tablet will be a "companion device." Where have you heard that before? Oh right: The ill-fated Palm Foleo. The "best idea" Palm founder Jeff Hawkins' ever had that was canceled after its announcement but before a single product was ever shipped.

Why did Palm cancel the Foleo? For the same reason RIM will find out soon enough: companion devices don't really makes sense. BGR says the BlackBerry tablet won't have its own cellular connection so it will only be useful via a Bluetooth connection to a BlackBerry or Wi-Fi. So it's basically an extra display for a BlackBerry that will also have some multimedia functions, including reading e-books, Web browsing, and photos.

According to the report, the device is scheduled to ship by December. No price was mentioned. But we're not exactly holding our breath here.

About the author

Erica Ogg is a CNET News reporter who covers Apple, HP, Dell, and other PC makers, as well as the consumer electronics industry. She's also one of the hosts of CNET News' Daily Podcast. In her non-work life, she's a history geek, a loyal Dodgers fan, and a mac-and-cheese connoisseur. E-mail Erica.

 

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