Blackberry PlayBook tablet to be under $500
Moving into the tablet computer market for the first time, BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion (RIM) said that it will sell its PlayBook tablet for under $500 when it launches early next year, suggesting that RIM may plan to undercut Apple's iPad.
In September, RIM unveiled the PlayBook, a tablet computer to be sold under the Blackberry brand. The PlayBook will have a smaller screen compared with the iPad (7 inches versus 9.7 inches), wireless capability but no 3G option, and two cameras -- one front facing and one rear facing -- allowing for video chat (the iPad is camera-less). The tablet will also permit Adobe Flash programs, which make up a big percentage of online video and games. The PlayBook will also run RIM's proprietary operating system -- called BlackBerry Tablet OS.
The iPad starts at $499 for a model with 16 gigabytes and wireless Internet capability and rises to $829 for one with four times the storage capacity that can connect to AT&T's 3G cellular network.
RIM said that it intends to offer 3G and 4G models in the future (sometime after the initial 2011 rollout).
Photo: The PlayBook on display at the BlackBerry developers conference 2010 in San Francisco last September. Credit: Jeff Chiu/AP Photo