RIM's hotly anticipated BlackBerry PlayBook tablet is set to officially launch in Australia on 1 June, according to an industry source that has been testing the tablet who wished to remain anonymous.
It is not clear whether the PlayBook will immediately be available in a Wi-Fi only version, or a Wi-Fi + 3G version that uses a telco's SIM card for a wireless data connection. If it is the latter, we've been told the Wi-Fi + 3G version of the PlayBook may initially launch through Optus. RIM has previously stated that the Wi-Fi only BlackBerry PlayBook will be the first model to launch in Australia.
A RIM spokesperson told GoodGearGuide that there is "no date that we can tell you at the moment."
The RIM BlackBerry PlayBook is a 7in 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.
The BlackBerry PlayBook will be offered in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB versions, though RIM is yet to announce any local pricing details.