New BlackBerry tablet on the way

BlackBerry PlaybookNo sooner has BlackBerry launched the Z10 smartphone in a bid to compete with the best in the market and turn around the company’s fortunes, but a new tablet is reported to be on the cards from the firm.

There have been conflicting reports about sales of the new high-end Z10 handset, with Rick Costanzo, Blackberry’s executive vice president of global sales, saying that early sales were exceeding expectations. “No one is declaring victory by any stretch of the imagination, but gosh, we’re off to a great start,” he said.

Meanwhile, some critics have cast doubt on reports that the Z10 was sold out in some stores. And analysts at investment firm Canaccord Genuity have pulled back expectations for the smartphone maker.

But whatever the sales figures of the Z10 are, BlackBerry is pushing forward with plans to take a bigger share of the technology market from the likes of Apple and Samsung.

PlayBookThe head of developer relations at BlackBerry’s Asia Pacific division has confirmed that the company will be launching tablets which will be based on the new BB10 operating system.

Know Your Mobile India is quoting an executive saying a “BB10 tablet is definitely coming later this year”.

While BlackBerry’s earlier foray into the tablet didn’t go brilliantly, with sales of the PlayBook falling short of expectations, that certainly isn’t putting off the Canadian firm from trying again.

While David Smith, head of BlackBerry’s mobile computing business conceded the tablet market was a challenging one, he added: “We are definitely very interested in the tablet market. I still think people want to see a range of different products.”

Smith refused to be drawn on when any new product could be expected, but he did reveal that the current BlackBerry Playbook, which first came onto the market in 2011, would be updated to run the revamped version of BlackBerry’s operating system.

His comments come after CEO Thorsten Heins said BlackBerry would only make tablets again if the terms were right. He said he wanted to provide a “value proposition” to shareholders.

It remains to be seen whether any new gadget from BlackBerry can snatch market share from the big players of the tablet world.BlackBerry Z10

Latest figures for the quarter ending at the beginning of December show BlackBerry sold 255,000 PlayBooks, compared to 22.9m iPads sold by Apple according to its quarter figures up until the end of 2012.

And, however impressive BlackBerry’s new tablet is when it finally hits the shelves, it is certainly facing tough competition.

Just before the start of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Korean technology giant Samsung revealed its new eight-inch tablet, the Galaxy Note 8.0, which will go on sale in the second quarter of this year. There’s also Apple’s latest tablet, the 7.9-inch iPad Mini, which was first available in October.

Hewlett Packard has also announced it is entering the tablet market. Already the world’s biggest PC maker, HP is determined to mirror that success with tablets. BlackBerry will be hoping to do the same.