Last Saturday, BlackBerry-owned Secusmart announced a new tablet that they had been working on with Samsung and IBM. The SecuTABLET is an extraordinarily secure, and high-end offering that many of us may never get to use or even see in the wild, but will surely have great use for all that need it, and decide to purchase it.
Over the last couple of days, the tech media picked the SecuTABLET story, and something strange happened: a lot of them ended up calling it a “BlackBerry tablet” or “BlackBerry’s latest tablet” one way or another. Engadget, for example, went with “BlackBerry’s first tablet in years is a secure Galaxy Tab S” as their lead, while PC World went straight in with “BlackBerry launches $2,300 tablet” as their headline. Now to be fair, both of these articles, along with others that used similar titles, did explain that Secusmart, Samsung, and IBM were actually launching this tablet as a joint venture. The only problem is a lot of people out there, media or not, actually believe BlackBerry launched a tablet, and unfortunately, that’s just not the case. SecuTABLET’s hardware is made by Samsung, it’s more than likely running Android 4.4 KitKat, and Secusmart and IBM helped out with the software. BlackBerry’s involvement was pretty limited compared to what they did when they launched the PlayBook. If people start thinking BlackBerry is launching Android tablets made by Samsung, don’t be surprised if the “is it the end of BlackBerry hardware and BB10?” rumor starts popping up again. Obviously, if BlackBerry launched a tablet themselves, it would be stacked with BlackBerry 10, and nothing else.
Also, as we surmised when the rumor of this device first came out, this deal between Samsung, IBM, and Secusmart was done before the company was acquired by BlackBerry. Secusmart managing direct Hans-Christoph Quelle, who’s now a senior vice president at BlackBerry confirmed that when he said, “The project was started long before BlackBerry acquired Secusmart.”
As far as BlackBerry’s concerned, they also don’t think its their tablet as many are making it out to be. We reached out to them this morning, and were told we should continue to only call it the SecuTABLET and not refer to it as a BlackBerry tablet because they had nothing to do with the hardware.
I’ll be honest, it’s always cool to see BlackBerry get some press, and especially in this case with a new security tablet launch because they own Secusmart, but if this thing bombs, or has any problems, the fact that it’s been labeled as a “BlackBerry tablet” could just hurt them unnecessarily. All I’m saying is let’s keep things organized and call them by what they are. The SecuTABLET is a Secusmart, Samsung and IBM collaboration. It is not BlackBerry’s latest tablet.