When the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet was first revealed at the end of September, RIM covered nearly all the major bases, providing full technical details, software/platform information, intended product positioning, and the software development environment. But the company made no mention regarding the price, leaving many of us to speculate that it could be prohibitively high, judging by the hardware and professional/business market positioning.
But the latest information reported by Bloomberg indicates that the PlayBook may actually be cheaper than we initially thought with a rumored price said to be below the $500 mark. RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie added that the new product would be "very competitively priced." Some other details mentioned included the US launch being penciled in for Q1 2011, with global launches following in Q2.
Keeping in mind that the cheapest iPad has a starting price of $499, it looks like RIM is planning to undercut the current king of the hill and perhaps some other rivals in order to aggressively build its market share in the highly competitive tablet market. With the PlayBook featuring a new platform, the QNX-based BlackBerry Tablet OS, rather than an established existing platform, it is essential for RIM to bring developers and apps on-board quickly with a growing market share being a primary step to that goal. Hopefully this price rumor will prove to be accurate as a sub-$500 figure for a top-end 1GHz ARM Cortex-A9, 7-inch WSVGA tablet certainly sounds very tempting.[Bloomberg via Liliputing]