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Page From RIM's PlayBook

Sarah Thomas

5:50 PM -- BlackBerry unveiled its iPad competitor, the PlayBook (not the BlackPad), today at its Developer Conference, targeted at its existing enterprise BlackBerry user base.

Co-CEO Jim Balsillie stressed the security and robustness of the PlayBook's QNX Software Systems -based operating system, but also noted that it'll be great for media and gaming. (See OS Watch: Facebook Phones It In and RIM's DataViz Buy Could Help With Tablet Biz.)

The seven-inch device features two cameras capable of 1080p video via an HDMI output, Adobe Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: ADBE) Flash, HTML5, and a 1GHz dual-core processor. RIM also announced an application development platform, dubbed BlackBerry Enterprise Application Middleware (BEAM), for building "super apps" for the enterprise with some help from IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM), Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL), and SAP AG (NYSE/Frankfurt: SAP).

What the PlayBook won't have is a cellular radio and service plan attached -- at least not at launch. PlayBook users can only access the Internet via WiFi or Bluetooth with a BlackBerry smartphone. The company said it plans to offer 3G and 4G models in the future.

We still don't know when it will be available (just early 2011), or from where or for how much. Check out the full specs here, and RIM's preview of the device below:

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

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12/5/2012 | 4:22:28 PM
re: Page From RIM's PlayBook

Dan disagrees, but I was hoping it'd be called "RIM's Little BlackBook"...Glad it's not the BlackPad though.

12/5/2012 | 4:22:26 PM
re: Page From RIM's PlayBook

Certainly interesting hardware specs compared to what I'd expect from RIM, and I love the idea of using your Blackberry as the network access device and everything else attaches via Bluetooth/Wifi (I'm a bit uncertain about the utility of the Sony Ericsson LiveView accessory, but I still want one!).  I wonder if this could help usher in a RIM renaissance in their smartphone department to reclaim the ground lost to Android and Apple.

BTW, kudos for publishing a tablet article without using the term "iPad killer" - I've always found "xxx killer" to show a remarkable lack of understanding about how the market works :)

12/5/2012 | 4:22:25 PM
re: Page From RIM's PlayBook

Well I did say iPad competitor, but I don't think it'll come close to being an iPad killer.

12/5/2012 | 4:22:22 PM
re: Page From RIM's PlayBook

So they can launch one with 3G called WorkBook later on?

12/5/2012 | 4:16:39 PM
re: Page From RIM's PlayBook

It looks like RIM borrowed a lot of the user interface look and feel, plus unique gestures for navigation, from HP/Palm's WebOS (currently running on the Palm Pre and Pixi line of smartphones).

I will wait until the Consumer Electronic Show in January 2011 to see what HP/Palm announces. HP/Palm have been making public statements that a PalmPad device is coming in Q1-2011. In my opinion, I think Palm's UI and multi-tasking fluidity combined with an eco-system supplied by HP will make for a compelling device that is both business and consumer friendly.



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