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BlackBerry Playbook to Undercut Tab and iPad Prices

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Following on from the first live demonstration of the BlackBerry PlayBook a couple of weeks ago at Adobe MAX, the first indication of a price point has been given by co-CEO of RIM, Jim Balsillie.

“Very competitively priced” and “under $500” were the quotes attributed to Balsillie by Bloomberg today following his interview in Korea. If this is the case the PlayBook will cost significantly less than the Samsung Galaxy Tab ($599) and will be at a similar level to Apple’s 9.7in WiFi-only iPad.

The PlayBook is set to hit the shelves in the States in the first quarter of next year with the tablet going global by the end of the first half of 2011. Two weeks ago, Adobe unveiled the SDK for its Adobe AIR platform supporting the BlackBerry Tablet OS. RIM is hoping that AIR’s cross platform appeal will persuade developers that otherwise might not look at Blackberry OS to code apps for the PlayBook.

The tablet will feature a 7in display with 1,024 x 600 resolution. As expected, it will run the QNX operating system from the company RIM purchased earlier this year, and it will multi-task from the off. It will be 9.7mm thick and weigh 400g, making it thinner and lighter than the iPad.

With the tablet market getting more and more crowded, RIM is hoping that the PlayBook will stand out from the crowd with competitive pricing, being Flash-enabled and using AIR’s cross-platform appeal. Only time will tell if this will happen.





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