Image credit: Asa Mathat | All Things Digital.

BlackBerry maker’s CEO has high hopes for the company’s new tablet operating system called BlackBerry Tablet OS, says RIM remains the #1 smartphone maker, and explains why seven inch slates make sense. 

This is the gist of an interview RIM’s chief Mike Lazaridis gave Wednesday to The Wall Street Journal’s Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg at the D: Dive Into Mobile conference in Los Angeles, California. Lazaridis showed up on stage carrying a prototype BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, the company’s answer to the iPad scheduled for the first quarter of next year.

Rebuking Steve Jobs’ comment that most 7-inchers would be dead on arrival made in a conference call with Wall Street analysts, RIM’s boss said that at seven inches the PlayBook is "just the perfect size" even though RIM "has plans" for different sizes as well. Worry not, Lazaridis argued, for BlackBerry Tablet OS will set up RIM for the next decade of mobile computing:

PlayBook OS allows us to jump into the next decade of mobile computing.

He went on to say that RIM will play in three distinct market areas – phones, superphones, and tablets – although it remains unclear whether the QNX-based OS would eventually make it into "multi-core" BlackBerry smartphones. With a brand new tablet operating system of its own, RIM has a fresh start, the executive noted:

Apple and Android are trying to take a mobile phone OS and upgrade it for a tablet. We?re starting with a bona-fide mobile computing platform for tablets.

Image credit: Asa Mathat | All Things Digital.

Asked to explain why his company is running all these consumer ads if it insists on being viewed as an enterprise leader, Lazaridis quipped:

Because the BlackBerry has crossed over! We didn?t go out and try to make BlackBerry a consumer device. It crossed over on its own.

Lastly, RIM’s chief confirmed that BlackBerry 6 software will come soon to Curves, teased great BlackBerry devices in the future, and confirmed that the recently acquired design shop The Astonishing Tribe is already hard at work giving the BlackBerry software a face-lift. For more interview highlights, check out the clip embedded below.

Source: All Things D