BlackBerry manufacturer Research In Motion (RIM) may launch a tablet device at a developer's conference next week, according to latest reports from the US.

RIM recently registered the blackpad.com domain name, fuelling speculation that the company was readying a tablet computer to compete against the likes of Apple's iPad and a slew of new tablet PCs running Google's Android OS.

7-inch touchscreen BlackPad?

The Wall Street cited unnamed sources claiming to be familiar with RIM's plans to release a tablet who said the device will have a 7-inch touchscreen, one or two cameras, plus Bluetooth and broadband connections.

RIM's tablet will only be able to connect to cellular networks via a BlackBerry smartphone, the sources added.

The device will run on a new operating system built by QNX Software Systems, a company RIM acquired earlier in 2010.

QNX's open platform OS is currently used in a number of businesses including the car industry, and the medical, defense, telecoms and aerospace industries.

RIM's new tablet is said to be manufactured by Taiwanese outfit, Quanta Computers, using semiconductors from California-based Marvell Technology Group Inc, according to the Wall Street Journal's sources.

No official comment from RIM has so far been forthcoming.

Via Reuters and The Wall Street Journal