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A November release date is expected for the rival tablet.

The company Research In Motion, maker of the Blackberry smartphone, could be gearing up to take a bite out of the Apple iPad market come this November.  It is speculated that RIM is developing a touchscreen tablet called the "Blackpad" to compete with the popular tablet.  Sources indicate that the RIM pad will be similar to the iPad in many ways.  

Two people familiar with the company have already confirmed the plans, according to
 Bloomberg and Apple Insider.

"With the success of the iPad, RIM faces an uphill battle,” said William Power, an analyst at Robert W. Baird & Co., “RIM really has yet to demonstrate that it can roll out touchscreen technology to match the leaders in the space, most noticeably Apple."

The Blackpad would reportedly be identical in dimensions to the iPad, featuring a 9.7 inch screen and would be within the same price range -- starting at $499. 

The tablet would include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and would allow users to to be tethered through their Blackberry phone.  This is something that Apple does not currently allow with the iPhone and the iPad. The RIM tablet will also have front and back-facing cameras for videoconferencing.

"They can’t wait for a second generation of devices from Apple or they’ll fall too far behind," said Ashok Kumar, an analyst with Rodman & Renshaw Inc. in New York. 

Reports indicate that the domain name blackpad.com was acquired by RIM earlier this month.

HP recently applied for and was awarded a trademark for the name PalmPad.  The company confirmed that a tablet is currently being developed.

In late July, India announced that they were looking for a manufacturer to produce a $35 tablet that the country is working on, to compete with the iPad.





"Google fired a shot heard 'round the world, and now a second American company has answered the call to defend the rights of the Chinese people." -- Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.)



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