Report: RIM plans BlackBerry tablet to rival iPad

Rumours of Research In Motion Ltd.’s BlackBerry tablet, to potentially rival Apple Inc.’s iPad, are back in the news following fresh reports sparked by an investors note revealed by CNET.

A research note from Ashok Kumar, an analyst and managing director at Rodman & Renshaw, claims RIM’s new tablet will come with a smaller 7-inch screen, in contrast to the iPad’s 9.7-inch diagonal display.

The BlackBerry tablet will also offer front and rear facing cameras, similar to those found on Apple’s new iPhone 4, Kumar suggests.

“Research In Motion is trying to pull forward the launch of the 7-inch touchscreen tablet from early next year to year end…with a marginal point of differentiation being the front- and back-facing cameras for videoconferencing,” Kumar said in his research note.

Additionally, reports claim the BlackBerry tablet will be powered by a 1GHz processor, possibly the Marvell 1GHz Armada 610 processor, which offers full HD 1080p playback, 16-megapixel image captures and advanced 3D graphics.

On Friday, Kumar also predicted Apple iPad shipments to more than double, to 27 million units in 2011, while “estimates of 70 million iPhone shipments next year comfortably exceed street estimates of low-to-mid 50 million,” the analyst added.

However, Kumar warned Apple may struggle to meet that demand.

“Demand continues to chase supply for iPhones and iPads. In both instances, panels and touchscreen remain the supply bottleneck. While increased capacity and higher yields should improve availability of retinal screens from LG Display, it is unlikely to completely satiate global iPhone demand for remainder of the year.”

The UK Apple Store currently has “Ships: 3 weeks” against the SIM-free black 16GB and 32GB iPhone 4, while the white iPhone 4 is: “currently unavailable for order.”

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