With Apple getting a jump on pretty much everyone with the early launch of the iPad 2 last month, rival manufacturers have to do something radical if they were going to compete.
Two ways in which we felt they could do that was with pricing and storage capacity. However Canadian manufacturer RIM seems not to have been listening to us and has released the pricing for it’s first tablet, the BlackBerry PlayBook, matching Apple exactly in both price and storage capacity. In fact the 16GB, 32GB and 64GB versions of the PlayBook are actually 99¢ dearer than the comparative iPad 2 models at $499.99, $599.99 and $699.99 respectively. These are the prices for the US, however if we follow the logic we would suggest that the pricing for the three PlayBook models in the UK will be £429, £499, £599 – again the same as the iPad 2.
Consumers in the US and Canada can pre-order the tablets now and RIM promise the units will be on shelves as early as April 19. Earlier this week we saw a leaked road map from Three which showed that the PlayBook would not be coming to these shores until June, which is quite a wait – though it will give customers here the chance to gauge reaction from early adopters in north America.
RIM has also released final specs for the tablet including weight (425g) and dimensions (130 x 194 x 10mm) which makes it a lot lighter than the iPad 2 (601g) but slightly thicker – the iPad 2 is only 8mm thick. However RIM will be hoping that Flash support, true mutli-tasking and BlackBerry compatibility will attract a large amount of customers to its smaller form factor.
Update: Apple has released final pricing for the iPad 2 and the 16GB Wi-Fi model will be £40 cheaper than previously thought at £399 while the 32GB model will be £20 less than previously thought at £479 while the 64GB will cost at £559 (64GB). The 3G models will cost £100 extra across the board. The cost of the Smart Cover will be £35 for the polyurethane version and £65 for the leather version - not cheap then.