RIM's PlayBook will take on Apple's iPad with a price under $500

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014
When Research in Motion debuts its own touchscreen tablet, dubbed the Playbook, in early 2011, it will be sold at a sub-$500 price that has eluded other competitors of Apple's iPad.



In a conversation with Bloomberg, RIM co-Chief Executive Jim Balsillie said the Playbook will go on sale in North America in the first quarter of 2010 for "under" $500. Apple's iPad has an entry price of $499.



"The product will be very competitively priced," Balsillie reportedly said.



RIM teased the PlayBook, a 7-inch multi-touch tablet, in September. It will run the all-new BlackBerry Tablet OS on a 1024-by-600-pixel display.



The PlayBook's sub-$500 price will not likely be achieved with a carrier subsidy, as the first-generation device will not offer integrated 3G or 4G data connectivity. RIM has said it plans to add built-in cellular wireless to the tablet in the future, but initial users will rely on Wi-Fi or shared data from a BlackBerry.



The PlayBook will also have a screen smaller than Apple's 9.7-inch iPad display. Last month, Apple CEO Steve Jobs criticized iPad competitors like the PlayBook for their 7-inch screens, suggesting the screen size was selected in an effort to compete with Apple's competitively priced iPad.



"When we make decisions on 7-inch tablets, it's not about cost," Jobs said. "It's about the value of the product when you factor in software." He said that Apple's own testing has found that a 7-inch screen is too small to be functional for users.







Samsung has its own 7-inch tablet, the Galaxy Tab, set to debut this week on Verizon, the largest wireless carrier in the U.S. But that Android-based device has a starting price of $600 with Verizon, $30 cheaper than Apple's $630 iPad with 3G, or the iPad-MiFi bundle Verizon now sells.



But like the first-generation PlayBook, Apple's $499 iPad does not offer integrated 3G connectivity. The 16GB 9.7-inch Wi-Fi iPad is just $499.



Two other U.S. wireless carriers, Sprint and T-Mobile, also offer Samsung's Galaxy Tab at a price under $500, thanks to carrier subsidies. The device will cost $399.99 and will come with a two-year service agreement for 3G data.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 132
    DOA, sub-500 or not.
  • Reply 2 of 132
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


    DOA, sub-500 or not.



    flash-loving, battery suckin, 7 inch tablet looks nice. Blackpad not competitively priced to take on the iPad, the samsung tab, yes..
  • Reply 3 of 132
    Since when is charging the same price for a 7" screen device, at half the screen real estate area, "very competitive" to a 9.7" screen device?
  • Reply 4 of 132
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


    DOA, sub-500 or not.



    I disagree. I think the Blackberry Playbook is the only one that will be a serious threat to iPad and the only one i would consider buying (besides from the iPad and if i had the money for it...).



    It's the only one that has a proper OS, designed specifically for the Tablet, and not a improvised application of other OSes (windows or android).

    it's the only one that has spend time looking for development partners (Adobe [yes i know they heva their issues, but many many developers still use them as their mainly/only tool ] ) and the only one that has a serious designed interface, that is not an iOS or windows ripoff.



    and i think that the 7"+ design is closer to the ideal of a tablet than the tiny 6" tablet form from the android rivals. I haven't hold one side by side with an ipad to compare and feel but i think that the sweet spot is there between the 7" playbook and 9,7" ipad. not the measly <6" form of the android ones. (which is neither an phone nor a proper pad and will generate a big disappointment after some serious time of usage)
  • Reply 5 of 132
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ryszard View Post


    Since when is charging the same price for a 7" screen device, at half the screen real estate area, "very competitive" to a 9.7" screen device?



    since screen area isn't everything and some people value other characteristics more, inclusive the simple price.
  • Reply 6 of 132
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,128member
    RIM, impress me by showing us an iPad-sized model under $500. Until then, don't make it sound like your product is the same specs as an iPad for the same price. Looks like another has-been before it even leaves the vaporware lab.
  • Reply 7 of 132
    dreyfus2dreyfus2 Posts: 1,056member
    Hm, I do not quite get the logic for ruling subsidies out here. Unless you are confident that Blackberry users will get tethering for free... which I consider a bit unlikely.



    From the (very limited on the actual device, most demos were videos) demos given by RIM, the display seems to be rather good quality (maybe not IPS, but I do not know), it uses a next generation dual core processor... I really do not see how they will be able to stay under the price of e.g. the Galaxy Tab. So either RIM is subsidizing the device to buy market share, or there will be hidden cost, like additional subscriptions required?



    No idea what it will be in the end, but for me it does not really add up yet.
  • Reply 8 of 132
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lordjeremias View Post


    since screen area isn't everything and some people value other characteristics more, inclusive the simple price.



    why was everyone screaming that the iphone 3G or 3GS screen size was too small until they came out with the retinal display, then the competitors dropped the screen size/resolution comparison. So now it's have your cake and eat too moment for defending smaller screen sizes...



    this is hilarious..



    guaranteed if the iPad was a 7-in device, the competitors would rip it a new one. But since Jobs and Co. have ACTUALLY been R&D-ing for over a decade on tablets, probably have dozens of 7-12 prototypes, Jobs knows that this is DOA. This is guy that did mainstream the mouse, the trackball, and is now ushering in the era of the multitouch portable computer.



    when Jobs says a 7-in tablet is DOA, I would not bet against him. What other company has even put in a fraction of the time developing and researching what size is a ideal form factor for a tablet? its purely reactionary..
  • Reply 9 of 132
    i got nothing about this product that i haven't seen on an ipad. in fact, the ad is reminiscent of an earlier windows campaign that was a little too artsy-fartsy and had little to do with the actual product.



    look, anyone can make a video of an interface of a not-yet-developed-product. why bother?
  • Reply 10 of 132
    I swear, this is a "business" tablet, but their commercial is directed at the consumer. They don't seem to know who they want to target.



    Notice how they show everything displayed on something large in the commercial.... not on the device itself. DOA!!!
  • Reply 11 of 132
    Another company copying Apple products...hope they flop!!
  • Reply 12 of 132
    I agree that it's the only other tablet that has an OS designed to be a tablet besides the iPad. At the same time, I think the hardware combination is going to fail. Why? It's too small to be useful as a tablet. I make software for the iPad and there is a certain sweet spot for size. I think the iPad is on the low end for size that you want to achieve. Any smaller and there are apps you can't make. You really need to have something that approaches the size of paper if you hope to replace paper.



    The other thing I find odd is that the argument for a smaller screen is mobility. But then why did the company so known for mobile communications not even build in 3G capability? Even the Dell Streak can be used as a (big) phone. The only reason I can think of is that they want to sell more Blackberry phones and contracts. Either that or they couldn't make things work out with the carriers. I'm not sure.



    Another consideration is that for this size, you are going to have less battery life. The inside of the iPad is crammed with batteries which is how it gets long battery life. From experience, this is an important aspect of the device. If you are going to replace paper, it needs to be reliable. Reliability means not thinking about charging it. The Playbook is going to run Flash/Flex/Air and I wonder what the performance of that will be and how it will impact battery life.



    So those are my concerns. I think these companies are scrambling to get something that will go head to head with the iPad and I just haven't seen that come up yet besides price. But what are you losing out on then? The iPad provides a lot of value for the price from what I have seen.
  • Reply 13 of 132
    dreyfus2dreyfus2 Posts: 1,056member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lordjeremias View Post


    It's the only one that has a proper OS, designed specifically for the Tablet, and not a improvised application of other OSes (windows or android).

    it's the only one that has spend time looking for development partners (Adobe [yes i know they heva their issues, but many many developers still use them as their mainly/only tool ] ) and the only one that has a serious designed interface, that is not an iOS or windows ripoff.



    Now, that is really the make or break question right there... (the screen size is certainly not)



    So far, IMHO of course, RIM has not proven that they do understand touch interfaces, neither the Storm, nor the Storm 2, nor the Torch have received any praise for their touch implementation. How they will magically just pull that off on a bigger device is something I do not see just happening (of course, it is possible). So far they gave the press no hands-on time with the devices, and one can literally show off everything hidden inside a glass cube and running a video.



    RIM still has a special position in the enterprise world (at least in the US), and they will certainly move some units. But without attracting consumers, it will remain a niche product. Usability and availability of apps and media will be key factors... none of these are historical strengths of RIM, let's see if they can change that.
  • Reply 14 of 132
    (I never understood why RIM called this tablet for corporate users "Playbook.)



    But more important: The company I am working for (10.000+) is a Blackberry only shop as far as mobile devices are concerned. But not any longer. Starting Q1/11 iPhone/iPad will be supported for mail/calendar/address book/chat. (web based everything) Lotus Notes and Blackberry will be gone.

    Of course I can keep the Blackberry as a phone and for browsing the web (It's a "Curve", so this is a joke for both things).
  • Reply 15 of 132
    There's room enough in the device market for a lot of vendors including RIM with their PlayBook. RIM will bring along a lot of energy, lots of loyal fans, subscribers and carrier relationships. Their demo is a little slim so I don't think there's any good way to judge if the OS alone is going to meet the needs of their customers (or win new ones, for that matter).



    That said, while screen size is important, so is price, battery life and interoperability. Also critical are experience with purchasing, using, customizing and getting support for the device. It's a complicated thing rolling out a new category of product and Apple really succeeds in that. The iPad has set a high bar but RIM and others have chosen another route for their devices. Game on.
  • Reply 16 of 132
    ifailifail Posts: 463member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ryszard View Post


    Since when is charging the same price for a 7" screen device, at half the screen real estate area, "very competitive" to a 9.7" screen device?



    Cortex A9? HDMI out? 2 HD cameras? There is more to it than screen size.



    Also, when did Apple fanatics start championing screen size since last i heard most were crying about the paltry 3.5 on the iPhone
  • Reply 17 of 132
    I'm with you brother! I cannot believe that RIM cannot even make a nice touchscreen device!! The Storm 2 did not even improve substantially on the Storm 1 and is laborous to use and type on.



    On another front, the Blackberry Apps are terrible and childish. With the Playbook if they want to even compete they will have to somehow offer quality apps.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dreyfus2 View Post


    Now, that is really the make or break question right there... (the screen size is certainly not)



    So far, IMHO of course, RIM has not proven that they do understand touch interfaces, neither the Storm, nor the Storm 2, nor the Torch have received any praise for their touch implementation. How they will magically just pull that off on a bigger device is something I do not see just happening (of course, it is possible). So far they gave the press no hands-on time with the devices, and one can literally show off everything hidden inside a glass cube and running a video.



    RIM still has a special position in the enterprise world (at least in the US), and they will certainly move some units. But without attracting consumers, it will remain a niche product. Usability and availability of apps and media will be key factors... none of these are historical strengths of RIM, let's see if they can change that.



  • Reply 18 of 132
    Why are all these RIM videos of rendered images being manipulated, where are the actual devices running the OS?
  • Reply 19 of 132
    jd_in_sbjd_in_sb Posts: 1,479member
    RIM's first touch screen phone (Blackberry Storm) was a complete disaster. Their first tablet will be a complete disaster. Unlike Apple, there is no one at RIM who will say "Wait a minute, this thing sucks. Let's not ship until will get it right."
  • Reply 20 of 132
    So much for Apple's hegemony.
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