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

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 121
    nceencee Posts: 836member
    And as long as they market it as the "Worlds first Professional Tablet" it will have some success.



    Skip
  • Reply 2 of 121
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,360member
    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.
  • Reply 3 of 121
    fila97fila97 Posts: 63member
    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
  • Reply 4 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.
  • Reply 5 of 121
    irelandireland Posts: 17,492member
    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.



  • Reply 6 of 121
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,558member
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 121
    irelandireland Posts: 17,492member
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 121
    j1h15233j1h15233 Posts: 274member
    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!
  • Reply 9 of 121
    tuppytuppy Posts: 3member
    RIM doesn't have the mindshare to take on an Apple product. They are an "also ran" at this point.
  • Reply 10 of 121
    bullheadbullhead Posts: 493member
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 121
    tuppytuppy Posts: 3member
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 121
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,360member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    Quit being so defensive.



    It's called mocking.
  • Reply 13 of 121
    boogabooga Posts: 1,076member
    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.
  • Reply 14 of 121
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    Quit being so defensive.



    Defensive?
  • Reply 15 of 121
    cmvsmcmvsm Posts: 204member
    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.
  • Reply 16 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 9:16?if 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...
  • Reply 17 of 121
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,360member
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 121
    tuppytuppy Posts: 3member
    @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!
  • Reply 19 of 121
    rabbit_coachrabbit_coach Posts: 1,114member
    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?
  • Reply 20 of 121
    rabbit_coachrabbit_coach Posts: 1,114member
    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:



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