RIM tablet to use newly acquired 'infotainment' software?

A Bloomberg report says an upcoming BlackBerry tablet will feature software from QNX, acquired by RIM from Harman International earlier this year.

Research In Motion's upcoming tablet may not run the BlackBerry OS after all.

In a report Thursday, Bloomberg says it was told by unnamed sources that the so-called " Blackpad " will feature software from QNX Software Systems, a company acquired by RIM in April .

The so-called Blackpad may not get the BlackBerry OS after all.

At the time of the acquisition, RIM said it would use QNX software to "further integrate and enhance the user experience between smartphones and in-vehicle audio and infotainment systems."

Perhaps this is the "infotainment" device referenced? QNX software is used in a variety of applications; interestingly, BMW uses it for in-vehicle navigation and the U.S. Army has it installed in Crusher tanks.

Bloomberg doesn't have a lot of details about what RIM thinks the advantages of using such software in a device intended to compete with the iPad are, other than that there are independent developers who already make apps for QNX.

A solid core of professionally made apps ready for the Blackpad at launch is important. Thanks to the success of the iPhone and iPad, Apple has many people already thinking in terms of apps with these kinds of devices . But what Apple and Google have done well is attract independent developers. Apple's App Store currently boasts 225,000 apps, the most of any mobile app store, and Google's Android, another major player in the burgeoning tablet market, has 100,000 apps.

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.


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