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RIM's iPad-competing BlackBerry PlayBook will launch for $499 on April 19

post #1 of 121
Thread Starter 
Research in Motion on Tuesday announced the details for the launch of its BlackBerry PlayBook 7-inch touchscreen tablet, set to arrive on April 19 for a $499 starting price that matches Apple's iPad.

The BlackBerry PlayBook with Wi-Fi will be available starting in a 16GB capacity for $499, the same as the Wi-Fi-only iPad. However, the PlayBook will sport a smaller 7-inch touchscreen display, compared to the 9.7-inch screen found on the iPad.

The remaining PlayBook prices will also match Apple's pricing for the Wi-Fi-only iPad lineup, at $599 for 32GB of storage, and $699 for 64GB. The device will be available at all Best Buy stores in the U.S. and Best Buy and Future Shop stores in Canada on April 19.

As "preferred retailers," both companies will begin accepting preorders for the PlayBook starting Tuesday.

Additional retail outlets in the U.S. will include AT&T, Office Depot, RadioShack, Staples, Sprint and Verizon. In all, the PlayBook will be available in over 20,000 retail outlets in the U.S. and Canada at launch.

"The BlackBerry PlayBook is an amazing tablet that is already being widely praised as a multi-tasking powerhouse with an uncompromised web experience and an ultra-portable design," said Mike Lazaridis, president & co-CEO of RIM. "Given the high level of customer interest in the BlackBerry PlayBook, we are particularly pleased to be working with such an amazing lineup of retail partners."

Official specifications for the RIM PlayBook are:
7" 1024x600 WSVGA capacitive LCD touch screen
Ultra-portable at less than a pound and less than one-half inch thick: 0.9 lbs (425g) and 5.1 x 7.6 x 0.4 (130mm x 194mm x 10mm)
1 GHz dual-core processor
BlackBerry Tablet OS with support for symmetric multiprocessing
MP3, AAC and WMA audio playback
Support for high resolution video playback (H.264, MPEG4, WMV)
1080p HDMI output
Dual 1080p HD cameras for video conferencing and video capture (3MP front and 5MP rear)
1 GB RAM memory
Up to 64 GB internal storage (16, 32 and 64 GB models)
GPS, Orientation Sensor (Accelerometer), 6-Axis Motion Sensor (Gyroscope), Digital Compass (Magnetometer)
Stereo speakers and stereo microphones
Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n) connectivity
Bluetooth 2.1+EDR support


The PlayBook and tablets like it were called out by Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs last year, when he slammed devices with a 7-inch screen as inadequate for most users. Jobs even quipped that makers of tablets with smaller form factors would need to ship sandpaper with their devices, so users could file down their fingers to the point where they could hit smaller targets on the screen.

RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie quickly fired back at Jobs, and said he believes customers are "getting tired of what to be told to think by Apple." He also said any issues with a 7-inch tablet display only exist inside of "Apple's distortion field."

The smaller display of the PlayBook does allow it to be even lighter than the newly released iPad 2. And RIM's tablet also has higher-quality dual cameras and twice the RAM of the iPad 2.

RIM is pitching the PlayBook as the "world's first professional-grade tablet." Its debut will come more than a month after Apple's iPad 2 went on sale and faced overwhelming demand, with many users still waiting to get their hands on the device. The international launch of the iPad 2 will go on as planned on March 25.
post #2 of 121
And as long as they market it as the "Worlds first Professional Tablet" it will have some success.

Skip
post #3 of 121
Oh Noes! Another iPad killer!

And this tablet has to be tethered to a blackberry phone?

Maybe a few business users will buy it, but that's about it.

In a few weeks time, we'll be hearing about another iPad Killer. There's close to 100 of them coming this year.
post #4 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

Oh Noes! Another iPad killer!

And this tablet has to be tethered to a blackberry phone?

Maybe a few business users will buy it, but that's about it.

In a few weeks time, we'll be hearing about another iPad Killer. There's close to 100 of them coming this year.

More like iPad suicide bombers
post #5 of 121
If you're an Apple fan you'll like this news, if you're not an Apple fan you'll like this news.

It's win win.

Competition drives innovation and choice is a good thing.
post #6 of 121
No mention of battery life?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TechRader.CO.UK


Of course, the battery drain from this kind of intensive processing is likely to be catastrophic. All the samples at the show were plugged into the power so we were unable to test battery performance.

I like the way tech radar stuck a link in my quote down here thanks to their javascript crap in my copied text. I hate websites that do that. I think this above quote is a good point, but I'll never quote this website again. I think websites that do this are basically so insecure about the quality of their own content that they have to "force" you to revisit their site. The mere act of doing this automatically brings down the quality of the website.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
post #7 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vandelay Industries View Post

... Competition drives innovation ...

No it doesn't. At most, competition may, but doesn't necessarily, drive improvement. (Sometimes, it drives the opposite -- the race to the bottom.) By definition it can't drive innovation, since something new has no competition.
post #8 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

Oh Noes! Another iPad killer!

And this tablet has to be tethered to a blackberry phone?

Maybe a few business users will buy it, but that's about it.

In a few weeks time, we'll be hearing about another iPad Killer. There's close to 100 of them coming this year.

Quit being so defensive.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
post #9 of 121
Congrats on matching the price RIM. Now try to match the specs, the screen size, the user experience, the app store and the hype. Good luck!
post #10 of 121
RIM doesn't have the mindshare to take on an Apple product. They are an "also ran" at this point.
post #11 of 121
Welcome to the Fail Boat. I have a cell phone. This thing has a seven inch screen...a couple of inches bigger than my cell phone. It has a smaller screen than the iPad yet costs just as much. It has no apps. It has a primitive OS. It has a far worse battery life. It has no iTunes.

My bet is RIM discontinues the Playbook after six months on the market. No one is going to buy these things when they can get a bigger and better tablet in the iPad.
post #12 of 121
And before I'm accused of bias or anything, RIM had the mobile space at it's beck and call not even 6 years ago.Everybody who was anybody wanted a blackberry in 2004-2006. It takes a real dedication to underachieving to take a market leader position and turn it into garbage.
post #13 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Quit being so defensive.

It's called mocking.
post #14 of 121
I'm actually not as skeptical about the Playbook as I am about the Xoom and other iPad-copies. The smaller form factor fits in a purse and I see a LOT of Blackberries on the commute to NYC. As for tethering, I keep seeing advice that folks should go for the WiFi-only iPad because they can use their iPhone for tethering (and GPS when tethered)... isn't that basically the same thing? Unlike the pads that try to compete directly against the iPad on the iPad's own terms, the Playbook seems to be going for a relatively untapped market (my guess is the top buyer will be women who commute).

I think RIM may be to the iPad what SanDisk was to the iPod... never cracking the top spot but a distant-yet-strong second.
post #15 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Quit being so defensive.

Defensive?
post #16 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by bullhead View Post

Welcome to the Fail Boat. I have a cell phone. This thing has a seven inch screen...a couple of inches bigger than my cell phone. It has a smaller screen than the iPad yet costs just as much. It has no apps. It has a primitive OS. It has a far worse battery life. It has no iTunes.

My bet is RIM discontinues the Playbook after six months on the market. No one is going to buy these things when they can get a bigger and better tablet in the iPad.

Agree with this. In addition, now that Verizon has the iPhone, you will see lots of business Blackberry users convert, resulting in an even further slide for RIM's smartphone market share. Once they lose Blackberry support as consumers go to other alternatives, this Playbook might as well have been vaporware.

Of course, they also lost the launch window advantage as well. With Apple having supply issues to keep up with demand, now would be the time to have an alternative sitting on the shelf. By April 19th, the crisis will be over and RIM's Playbook will collect dust on the shelf.
post #17 of 121
I'm sorry, people are going to expect a tablet with 43.6% of the screen area of the iPad to be cheaper. I'm assuming it's 9:16if it's not, why some oddball aspect ratio? But if it is, why rectangular pixels? If developers can't handle resolution increases that aren't simple doublings, can they handle unequal horizontal and vertical resolution?

That said, I suppose the people who just have to have a Blackberry will buy one, but that's a small and shrinking demographic. Plus, they'll be bitching about the lack of a hardware keyboard. Can't see huge lines for this...
post #18 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Booga View Post

As for tethering, I keep seeing advice that folks should go for the WiFi-only iPad because they can use their iPhone for tethering (and GPS when tethered)... isn't that basically the same thing?

It's not exactly the same thing. Many people who opt for the Wifi only iPad will be using them at home a lot or in a location that has Wifi. This blackberry tablet is small, it's 7", it's meant to be portable and people will most likely be walking around with both their blackberry phone and the blackberry tablet.

As I previously wrote, I think that the blackberry tablet might appeal to some business types who already have blackberry phones. They are already RIM customers. The average consumer will be buying the much larger and more mainstream iPad.
post #19 of 121
@booga

Android appstore is a mess. I have an Android cellphone as my primary phone and their interface fits the phone companies dreams (or their customers nightmares lol)

As a programmer, I have my prejudices, but anything is preferable to the Droid Army. Subpar code, subpar programs, subpar walled-garden, subpar interface. Everything is wrong with it. It's a worthless open interface and a bad controlled environment.

I hope iPhone goes multi-carrier, more than just AT&Tmobile and VZW. We need some consumer beneficial competition up in here!
post #20 of 121
What does the PlayBook need 1GB RAM for? There is no Application around, that needs even a tenth. Or is it the OS that is so RAM hungry?
post #21 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac-sochist View Post

I'm sorry, people are going to expect a tablet with 43.6% of the screen area of the iPad to be cheaper..

But, But...

It has 1GB RAM and better cameras and it may one day run Flash:

post #22 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by j1h15233 View Post

Congrats on matching the price RIM. Now try to match the specs, the screen size, the user experience, the app store and the hype. Good luck!

Ditto. Congrats!
post #23 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rabbit_Coach View Post

But, But...

It has 1GB RAM and better cameras and it may one day run Flash:


That sounds like the Xoom. It also takes about 2 seconds for the screen to change after you change the orientation on that tablet. The iPad is instantaneous.

What good is "superior" specs when the performance is garbage?
post #24 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac-sochist View Post

I'm sorry, people are going to expect a tablet with 43.6% of the screen area of the iPad to be cheaper.

Smaller rarely means cheaper when it comes to technology. Just look at the unsubsidised price of the iPhone.
post #25 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vandelay Industries View Post

If you're an Apple fan you'll like this news, if you're not an Apple fan you'll like this news.

It's win win.

Competition drives innovation and choice is a good thing.

*yawn*


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rabbit_Coach View Post

What does the PlayBook need 1GB RAM for? There is no Application around, that needs even a tenth. Or is it the OS that is so RAM hungry?

RIM has nothing on Apple so they just beef up the specs. They don't get it.
post #26 of 121
DOA me thinks.
post #27 of 121
I think one problem that RIM and alike will face in coming months is this: What Next?

RIM and others do not have the cash flow & reserve a company like Apple. So in the long run they can come up with a tablet. But their tablet will only be good for a couple of months and they have to release a new version. I am not sure they have enough money to do that!

I think Playbook is OK but it is just another product.


My advise is this:

For current tablet design and specs, the war is lost. Apple have already won. Spend your money on the next big thing that can add value to the tablet. That is the only way you can make money!


p.s. sorry for the poor grammar!
post #28 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by robogobo View Post

DOA me thinks.

Quit being so defensive.










Only kidding.
post #29 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"The BlackBerry PlayBook is an amazing tablet that is already being widely praised as a multi-tasking powerhouse with an uncompromised web experience and an ultra-portable design," said Mike Lazaridis, president & co-CEO of RIM.

And what's this? By whom is it being "widely praised" if nobody's seen it yet? Can you imagine if Steve Jobs said anything like this? The howler monkeys would be in full chorus!
post #30 of 121
$500 for a device that can't do nothing more than just web surf is a little steep I think. On top of all, even web surfing is limited to just WiFi.
post #31 of 121
I completely agree that competition can be good for innovation, sometimes the opposite is more true - innovation is good for competition. And that's the more relevant rule where Apple is involved. It is Apple's own innovation in iPods, iPhones and iPads (prior to any worthy competition) that raised the bar in the market. There is no meaningful competition pushing them - merely potential competition that keeps falling short and confirming to Steve jobs that Apple is on the right track. So if you think Apple needs to be reminded they're on the right track, then yes, competition is a good thing. Otherwise, the competition has merely been a byproduct of Apple's innovation.

The Playbook having a smaller screen but being the same price as the iPad is a perfect example of confirming to Apple to keep doing what it's doing. If iPad weren't already so far in the lead then Blackberry could justify that price in other ways - but that's not the case.
post #32 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

It's called mocking.

Well said. Meanwhile ... in the same vein, can I ask why they didn't add a pull out keyboard? After all they did mock Apple's iPhone for NOT having one!
Enjoying the new Mac Pro ... it's smokin'
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini.
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Enjoying the new Mac Pro ... it's smokin'
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
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post #33 of 121
I will admit at first I thought playbook could actually stand a chance to survive in an iPad dominated market. Then I came to my senses and chuckled at the thought. It's game over man, Apple has set a pretty high bar. Gorgeous design, thriving ecosystem, and increibly user friendly. My client's 3 year old has the first iPad as a way to keep him entertained while they work or run errands, he's a whiz on it. These companies just need to throw in the towel already.
post #34 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whozown View Post

I will admit at first I thought playbook could actually stand a chance to survive in an iPad dominated market. Then I came to my senses and chuckled at the thought. It's game over man, Apple has set a pretty high bar. Gorgeous design, thriving ecosystem, and increibly user friendly. My client's 3 year old has the first iPad as a way to keep him entertained while they work or run errands, he's a whiz on it. These companies just need to throw in the towel already.

Agreed. There are going to be a lot of iPad killer makers left wondering how to repay their banks in about a year.
Enjoying the new Mac Pro ... it's smokin'
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini.
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Enjoying the new Mac Pro ... it's smokin'
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini.
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post #35 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

Smaller rarely means cheaper when it comes to technology. Just look at the unsubsidised price of the iPhone.

Now, that's just dumb. We're not talking about the difficulties in miniaturizing some device. They just are making a smaller piece. Making a 7" vs. a 10" screen is not difficult. The guts are no big deal. And I guess a 30" monitor should be less than a 14"?

What it boils down to is that they think a 7" device will fit some niche for them. Some people may prefer the smaller form factor. It will certainly be easier to type on it than a Blackberry. Blackberry users may like it due their familiarity with BB. Some people are loyal to their BB's. And the $499 would not put them off that much. Time will tell if they are right or not. But they are certainly late to the party if they ever arrive and I doubt they will gain significant market share.

The 7" size is not terrible, but it sure won't give you the same user experience as the iPad's larger screen.
post #36 of 121
wow

i just wish my apple products were professional grade like RIM.
post #37 of 121
RIM is placing all their eggs in the PlayBook basket. I just don't see this working.
post #38 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevetim View Post

wow

i just wish my apple products were professional grade like RIM.

And I just wish these guys wouldn't use toys during surgery:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5nbNIpqdAY

<sarcasm>
post #39 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

No mention of battery life?

I went to the Blackberry site and no mention of battery in the specs.

I posted several times that I would be surprised if the PlayBook were available in any meaningful quantity before June 2011 -- looks as though they may prove me wrong.

The Flash/AIR advantages seem to be toned down quite a bit as are apps -- though I've heard rumous that it will run Android apps.

I think it is worth a trip to a local store to see/try it in person, before commenting on the UI/OS and usability.
"...The calm is on the water and part of us would linger by the shore, For ships are safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for."
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"...The calm is on the water and part of us would linger by the shore, For ships are safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for."
- Michael Lille -
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post #40 of 121
I'm going to risk it and say it out loud, does anybody actually give a fuck about this PlayShit nonsense? Bloody hell.
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