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BlackBerry Playbook to Undercut Tab and iPad Prices

David Gilbert


BlackBerry Playbook to Undercut Tab and iPad Prices

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.

Ian Yates

November 10, 2010, 10:24 pm

Colour me interested... Especially since I didn't think I would be.

I'm still hoping the post-2.1 Android tablets will be more enticing.


November 11, 2010, 6:38 am

stick that OS in a phone and then ill be interested


November 11, 2010, 12:42 pm

Probably means £$99. Which given that it doesn't have 3G isn't exactly amazingly cheap. More and more it looks like Apple got iPad pricing pretty spot on.


November 11, 2010, 3:54 pm

Oops! Meant $499.


November 11, 2010, 4:05 pm

@rav - I think you are exactly right - everyone said how expensive the iPad was, and actually, Apple have once again led the market in terms of product and price (first with the iPod, then the iPhone). I am very interested in the Playbook, it looks great. The big question is - is Apple going to have an iPad 2 coming out around the same time as the Playbook? Let's hope so...


November 11, 2010, 5:47 pm

I think its a simple case of getting what you pay for. Apple devices are generally stylish, very well put together with hugely intuitive user interfaces. There is a premium to pay for that.

Tablets can be made cheaper but there are sacrifices in screen quality, the "feel" of the tablet, etc. So I dont necessarily think its a case of Apple being spot on and right with their pricing in general - they just hit the mark with the pricing of their iPad.

On a different note, Im beginning to find myself agreeing with Jobs in that the sceen of a tablet shouldnt be less than that seen on an iPad. I dont think 7" is enough for me (cue crude jokes!).

And as for an iPad 2 - well, the rumours are flying thick and fast what with the alleged marketing shoot in New York recently and what not. Some claim early 2011 but I think Apple will stick to their general release strategy. Ive got a bad feeling that it still wont deliver what Im looking for (HDMI out, usb ports, larger storage) and will stick to simple camera improvements and other "boring" stuff.

Im also hoping that 2011 will see the phone companies jump on board fully offering phone like contracts - 24 month contract, £x up front and £x monthly type thing for a phone and data package.


November 11, 2010, 7:14 pm

"Apple have once again led the market in terms of product and price (first with the iPod, then the iPhone)"


While initially not interested in the tablet space, I might consider one in the future, but will definitely hold off until I can see the first offerings running: a)Meego and b)WebOS.

Especially WebOS in fact as that still seems like the OS I'd love to use but never got the proper opportunity to.


November 13, 2010, 2:22 am

Nook Color is better for reading than iPad and better for everything else than Kindle. Nook Color is better for $249. Nook Color screen is supposed to be better (less reflective) for reading than iPad thanks to new LG screen with anti-reflection coating. It allows to watch videos, listen to the music, view Office documents and PDF's. The Nook Color will not run apps straight out of the Android Market, but that does not mean it cannot run them. In fact, they have done a lot of tests on apps from standard Android smartphones and they pretty much run on Nook Color, which has Android 2.1 under the hood. (The Nook native interface and apps are just standard Android application layers.) Barnes & Noble special Nook SDK runs on top of the standard Android one and gives developers access to exclusive extensions and APIs for the Nook and its interface. So porting Android apps is not difficult. B&N says it is more like optimising them for Nook than porting them. If you prefer e-Ink screen, the original Nook is still available from BN.

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