BlackBerry PlayBook: No Aussie details


BlackBerry maker Research in Motion was today unable to confirm when its new PlayBook tablet device would reach Australia, or what expected local pricing was.

The device was unveiled overnight in the US, with the company stating that it was expected to be available in the US in early 2011, with rollouts in “other international markets” beginning the second quarter of the calendar year.

However, this morning a RIM spokesperson was unable to confirm that Australia would be included in the international rollout, or what the pricing of the new tablet would be like when it does hit Australia.

If the tablet does hit Australia in the second quarter of 2011, the launch will come nearly a year after Apple unveiled its own tablet device — the iPad — in Australia in late May. Apple’s device has already started making its way into large organisations, with education departments in particular currently conducting trials of the tablet in school and university environments.

A number of other tablet devices are also slated to launch in Australia in the near future — Dell’s Streak goes on sale locally next week, with Samsung’s Tab to come down under in November.

The PlayBook comes with a 7″ LCD WSVGA capacitative touch screen at a resolution of 1024×600, a 1GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, dual HP cameras on its front and rear, and support for 1080p HD video recording.

As previously reported — and unlike other tablet competitors to hit Australia’s consumer market — it does not support connecting to 3G mobile broadband networks, instead only supporting Wi-Fi access. However, RIM said in a statement that the company plans also to offer 3G and 4G models in future, and users will be able to pair the tablet with their BlackBerry phone for mobile access.

The tablet weighs about 400g and has dimensions of 130mm by 193mm by 10mm. It comes with a new version of the BlackBerry operating system geared at tablet devices.

Research in Motion also made a number of other announcements overnight — new BlackBerry enterprise application and web development platforms, an analytics service for developers, an advertising service for marketers, and new developer tools that would allow application builders to integrate social features into their applications.

Image credit: Research in Motion


  1. I know I give shit to Apple every now and then regarding them delaying stuff into Australia, but damn, Q2, 2011? That’s over 8 months (assume Q2 is May 2011) from the announcement!

    I wish tech companies could just keep quiet and not announce anything until a fortnight or a month until the product is actually available to purchase, instead of this teasing :(

    • I’m not so worried about the delay, but I do believe RIM is going to seriously hurt in the marketplace because of it. Corporations have already started buying iPads. How long is RIM going to make these companies wait for BlackBerry tablet devices?

      • Long enough that it’ll be touch & go on the application front- it could end up being very hard to build the application momentum.

        If it requires a new blackberry to connect to (I’ve not seen any info on this), meaning that existing fleets would require replacement then I have a hard time seeing all that much takeup.

        • Precisely my thoughts. RIM are clearly attempting to make moves in this direction through the developer initiatives they announced overnight. But with two major mobile apps platforms now (Apple and Android), it’s hard to see how a third force will be able to gain any real traction.

          • Which is the same issue Windows Phone 7 will have, because its a totally different dev environment to WM6. Having said that, at least they have SOME app history, which Blackberry really doesn’t, so that will help a little…

  2. This will be interesting- more powerful then the iPad, dual cameras but smaller. The new iPad will be out at around the same time, which will also have dual cameras but might not match the CPU…

    Apps will be the main battleground of course, it will be very interesting to see.

    • Yes, roughly. Apple works on a yearly release cycle for IOS devices, which would suggest April but quite a few rumours are suggesting earlier. The earliest date suggested is for christmas, but late first quarter is more likely.

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