Mobile Wars: Can RIM’s BlackPad take on Apple’s iPad?

Can RIM’s enterprise-oriented “BlackPad” challenge the iPad’s dominance in Corporate America?

Well, analyst Jack Gold believes RIM’s upcoming tablet push won’t turn into the “disaster” that many predict.

“Will there be some challenges for RIM in the market? Sure. But I expect it to be successful in the rather large niche it is targeting,” Gold explained.

“[Now], everyone seems to believe BlackPad must compete head to head with iPad to be successful. [But] it doesn’t. It [just] needs to solve a targeted problem for business users [and] help companies be more productive.”

However, he emphasized that the tablet would still have to appeal to individual users – even if deployed in spartan corporate environments.  

[“As such,] certain consumerized features (i.e., good webkit based browser, media capability, camera) will be required as well.

“But lots of companies are looking at tablets for their workforces and not as entertainment devices. [So], RIM can make a good case for its long legacy of providing business-class solutions to its customers.”

And although Gold confirmed that the BlackPad was “clearly” a gamble on RIM’s part, he noted the company had little choice but to make a play in the rapidly evolving tablet space.

“RIM needs to get experience with the QNX OS components which will lead to its new and improved OS capability. [If successful], the tablet will enhance and extend the BB corporate infrastructure within RIM’s installed base.

“This will be beneficial to both business users who are currently employing the BES architecture and RIM’s long term business prospects.”