BlackBerry tablet out early 2011 for under $500

Research In Motion’s first tablet computer will launch in North America in the first quarter and cost less than $500, RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie told Bloomberg late yesterday.

RIM's first tablet gets a launch target and price tag.


Unveiling the new BlackBerry PlayBook in September, RIM was mum on the cost until now. The PlayBook’s price tag sets it up to compete with Apple’s iPad, which costs $499 for the least expensive 16GB Wi-Fi-only model.


The PlayBook has a 1,024×600 pixel, 7-inch display, which is smaller than the iPad’s 9.7-inch screen. It includes both a front-facing and a rear-facing camera, and a 1GHz dual-core processor. The initial models will offer Wi-Fi-only connectivity, but RIM has said it plans to offer 3G and 4G models in the future. And unlike the iPad, the PlayBook will support Adobe Flash.


The PlayBook may be available through retail stores such as Best Buy and Target as well as from mobile carriers, Balsillie told Bloomberg. Following its North American debut, the tablet will be released elsewhere in the second quarter. South Korea will be one of the first countries on that list.

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