March 23rd, 2011

RIM match iPad entry price with PlayBook

RIM announced that their soon-​to-​be-​launched iPad com­pet­itor — the Black­Berry Play­Book — will be avail­able from April 19th in the United States and Canada, match­ing Apple’s iPad with a start­ing price of $499.

The Play­Book, which ini­tially will be avail­able only with WiFi, will be sold in a num­ber of retail out­lets, includ­ing 20,000 loc­a­tions of Best Buy in the U.S. and Canada, Radi­oShack, and Costco.

Pre-​orders for the device are now being taken by RIM for the three launch mod­els - the 16GB, 32GB and 64GB of stor­age which are priced respect­ively at $499, $599 and $699.

The Black­Berry Play­Book deliv­ers professional-​grade, consumer-​friendly exper­i­ences that redefine the pos­sib­il­it­ies of mobile com­put­ing.” RIM

Accord­ing to RIM, the Play­Book is less than half an inch thick and weighs less than a pound. It fea­tures a “highly-​responsive” 7-​inch high-​resolution dis­play and, unlike the iPad, sup­ports Adobe Flash. RIM also claim that it comes with advanced secur­ity fea­tures, out-​of-​the-​box enter­prise sup­port and a robust devel­op­ment environment.

How­ever, RIM’s road to launch has not been entirely smooth, with cri­ti­cism from some of its would-​be app developers accus­ing RIM of mak­ing the pro­cess of devel­op­ing apps extremely “frustrating”.

And con­cern has also been expressed that the Play­Book will not come with either integ­rated Black­Berry Mes­sen­ger ser­vices (although a hand­set can be tethered to use it) or cel­lu­lar con­nectiv­ity at launch.

The resig­na­tion of RIM’s chief mar­ket­ing officer, Keith Pardy, and reports of RIM devices run­ning Android apps have also increased the levels of unhelp­ful spec­u­la­tion sur­round­ing the PlayBook.

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