Research in Motion (RIM) has today announced that its BlackBerry PlayBook tablet will launch in Australia on Monday 20 June, and will start at $579.
The BlackBerry PlayBook tablet will be available in three Wi-Fi models with 16GB, 32GB or 64GB of memory. The PlayBook will start at $579 for the entry level 16GB model, and will be sold outright through Harvey Norman as well as through Telstra, Optus and Vodafone. RIM says that carriers will announce availability and pricing "closer to their launch date", though the tablet will not be offered with built-in 3G connectivity.
"The launch of the BlackBerry PlayBook is a highly anticipated event for both consumers and business users in Australia and we are proud to deliver this standout tablet to the marketplace, said Adele Beachley, managing director for RIM Australia." It offers an ultra-portable design with cutting-edge hardware features, one of the worlds most robust and flexible operating systems, advanced security capabilities and true multi-tasking".
The RIM BlackBerry PlayBook is a 7-inch tablet running a QNX based BlackBerry Tablet operating system. Its software has been designed from the ground up to run on a larger screened tablet device, rather than a smartphone. RIM has promised a lag free experience, with true multitasking and "best in class performance and quality".
Although RIM considers the PlayBook a "professional grade tablet", it will pitch the device at both consumers and corporate users. For corporate users, the PlayBook comes with software called BlackBerry Bridge that pairs the PlayBook with BlackBerry smartphone over a secure Bluetooth connection. This allows business and corporate users to access content that resides on their BlackBerry smartphone.
The BlackBerry PlayBook will also eventually run support Android apps at a later, unannounced date. Although PlayBook users won't have direct access to the Android Market, developers of Android apps can easily port these apps over to the App World store for use on the PlayBook.