When RIM surprised us by debuting its BlackBerry PlayBook tablet back in October, the company was all too happy to show off the hardware and the new QNX-based BlackBerry Tablet OS. Some information that was less forthcoming, however, was the final price and release date, with RIM only saying it would be launching in early 2011.
According to BGR, information from multiple sources now indicates that the impressive looking device will launch in retail on April 10th, with the final shipping version of the operating system going gold on March 31st. Hence, new PlayBook owners booting up their tablets in early April will be immediately prompted to update the software to this latest version before doing anything else. Until RIM makes an official announcement this information is unconfirmed, but an April launch date sounds plausible especially since it fits the early 2011 description coming before the summer.
In a related development, Liliputing has spotted that the PlayBook is now available for pre-order on the Mobile City and Negri Electronics sites for $599.99 and $798.50, respectively. The cheaper version listed on Mobile City appears to be WiFi only with no mention of WWAN connectivity, while the nearly $800 model on Negri Electronics is stated to be a unlocked 4G model. The Mobile City listing looks more reputable, but like the launch date, until we get the official word from RIM, it's better to view these early listings as nothing more than indicators.[BGR | Mobile City & Negri Electronics via Netbook News via Liliputing]