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BlackBerry returns to tablet arena with security-focused slate

Despite its dismal experience with the PlayBook, BlackBerry clearly still has an interest in the tablet space. However, its latest effort is the result of a collaboration with a number of other companies, surely a wise move considering what happened last time around.

As its name suggests, and as you’d expect with BlackBerry, the SecuTab focuses heavily on security and is aimed primarily at businesses and government agencies.

Announced over the weekend with a summer launch expected, the device is actually a modified Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5, with security software provided by IBM and German firm Secusmart, an encryption specialist acquired by BlackBerry last year.

Related: Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 review

This isn’t the first time BlackBerry has linked up with Samsung – four months ago the pair announced an end-to-end secure Android mobility solution involving the integration of the BlackBerry Enterprise Server 12 mobile management system with Samsung’s business-focused Knox platform.

BlackBerry claims the SecuTab also offers a high level of protection for on-board data while at the same time allowing users to securely separate work information from personal apps such as Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook, meaning an employee could get by with a single device.

The specialist nature of the SecuTab has left it with a hefty $2,400 price tag, though in a world where the business of data security is becoming increasingly challenging, customers won’t mind spending out if the device offers a genuinely secure solution.

Related: BlackBerry Classic review

Here’s to hoping BlackBerry has more luck with the SecuTab than it did with its consumer tablet, the PlayBook. Rushed out in 2011 months after the first iPad kickstarted the tablet market, BlackBerry’s slate received poor reviews and failed to take off.

John Chen, who took the reins of the company in 2013, hasn’t completely ruled out the idea of having another go with a consumer tablet, telling Cnet earlier this month that he’s open to the possibility, though he’d “want it to be different.”

However, with tablet sales apparently on the decline, and BlackBerry turning its attention to enterprise in a strategic effort to strengthen the company after several years in the doldrums, we’d be surprised if it tried its luck again in the consumer tablet market.

[Source: BlackBerry]