Research In Motion plans on marketing its PlayBook tablet PC for less than $500 in North America, according to a new report. The 7-inch device -- which which RIM expects will compete with the Apple iPad and a growing number of Google Android tablets -- will most likely hit store shelves in Q1 2011.
"The product will be very competitively priced," RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie reportedly told Bloomberg Nov. 10. It will be sold through wireless carriers as well as via retail chains Target and Best Buy.
During the PlayBook's September unveiling at RIM's DevCon conference, RIM executives indicated that the tablet would be marketed towards the same businesspeople who constitute the BlackBerry's traditional group of users. However, Balsillie's comment about Target and Best Buy suggests RIM could also be making a substantial consumer play.
But the PlayBook faces substantial competition in the tablet market. In addition to the Apple iPad, Android-based tablets from manufacturers such as Samsung and Dell are being prepped for launch over the next few months. What's more, Hewlett-Packard plans to release tablets running both Palm webOS and Windows 7. According to research firm Strategy Analytics, though, the iPad holds 95.5 percent of the worldwide tablet market for the moment.
For more, read the eWeek article RIM BlackBerry PlayBook Will Cost Under $500, Competitive with iPad.