The device, dubbed the BlackPad, is expected to be similar to the iPad with a touchscreen display, two cameras and WiFi connectivity.
BlackBerry users will be able to connect to the internet via 3G with their mobile phone connection, unlike the iPad, which requires a separate data subscription.
The device is also expected to use a new operating system built by RIM-owned QNX Software, instead of the recently launched BlackBerry OS6 that powers most of its latest handsets, such as the Blackberry Bold 9800.
Reports claim the device is scheduled to launch in the fourth quarter and will be officially unveiled next week at the BlackBerry Developer Conference.
Speculation over RIM’s intention to launch a tablet device kicked-off when it emerged that the company had bought the internet domain name blackpad.com in July.
The tablet market is set to heat-up in the run-up to Christmas with manufacturers such as Samsung poised to launch devices using the Android operating system.
Apple debuted its iPad earlier this year. It had to delay its international launch due to high levels of demand in the US and eventually claimed that it sold 3m of the devices inside 80 days.
This story first appeared on newmediaage.co.uk