Research in Motion (RIM) – the developer behind the BlackBerry smartphone – has launched the PlayBook, its answer to the Apple iPad.
The company unveiled its tablet computer – aimed squarely at the business community - at its developer conference, DEVCON, in San Francisco earlier today.
Ontario-based Rim is seeking to capitalise on its already dominate position in the smartphone arena, where it maintains a 39.3 per cent market share, according to research firm ComScore.
Rival iPhone presently controls a 23.8 per cent share of the US market, while Google’s Android was at 17 per cent for the quarter ending in July.
“RIM set out to engineer the best professional-grade tablet in the industry with cutting-edge hardware features and one of the world’s most robust and flexible operating systems,” said RIM president Mike Lazaridis.
“The BlackBerry PlayBook solidly hits the mark with industry leading power, true multitasking, uncompromised web browsing and high performance multimedia.”
Measuring less than half an inch thick, the BlackBerry PlayBook features a 7” high resolution display, a 1 GHz dual-core processor and the new BlackBerry Tablet OS which supports true symmetric multiprocessing.
The device – which will go on sale during early 2011 – will also offer support for Adobe Flash Player 10.1, Adobe Mobile AIR and HTML-5, alongside both Bluetooth and wi-fi capabilities.
It will not, however, offer 3G capabilities but will enable 3G data connecting by tethering to a Blackberry smartphone.
A retail prices has not been confirmed at present, but RIM revealed it will focus on the lower end of an increasingly congested market.
While Apple is presently the dominant player, following the launch of the iPad earlier this year, Samsung recently entered the market with the introduced of its Galaxy tablet as did Dell with its Streak device.
Other companies preparing to launch include Lenovo, Asus, HTC, and Acer as well as Google and Microsoft.
There is more information on the Playbook here.