RIM enters tablet market with PlayBook
Canada's Research in Motion has thrown its hat into the tablet computer ring with the announcement of the PlayBook, a device that is smaller and lighter than Apple's iPad. But where the iPad was made for the general public, it appears the PlayBook is being positioned specifically to the business community, which is how BlackBerry devices initially gained popularity.
During Monday's announcement at RIM's developer's conference in San Francisco, Michael Lazarifis, co-chief executive, called the device "the world's first professional tablet."
The announcement confirmed many rumors and it's expected the 7-inch screen PlayBook will hit the market early next year.
The PlayBook will have two high definition cameras (the iPad is without any cameras) as well as the capability to run Adobe's Flash Player 10.1. Also, while there is no direct connectivity to a 3G network, users will be able to use their existing BlackBerrys to tether a connection to the PlayBook.
It was also confirmed that the PlayBook would run on a different operating system than other RIM devices. In its report, PC World described the new OS as "a mashup between the latest BlackBerry OS and Palm's WebOS."
Other specs included a dual-core 1GHz processor and 1 gigabyte of RAM, which is reportedly four times more than the iPad.
One thing Lazarifis failed to mention was the price the PlayBook would go for, which has left some to assume the company is currently trying to make it more cost effective. The iPad currently starts at $499.
The inclusion of Adobe's Flash player could be the possible focus of an upcoming tablet war between RIM and Apple.
In April of this year, Apple's CEO Steve Jobs posted an open statement on the company's website highlighting three reasons for the omission, one of which was the lack of reliability and security of Adobe's Flash players.