As other tablet manufacturers use this week's CTIA conference in Orlando to unveil their own entries into the tablet market, RIM has decided to reveal more details about its PlayBook. The device will hit have a starting price of $499 for the 16GB model. The 32GB model will retail for $599, and the 64GB for $699. It hits store shelves on April 19.
The PlayBook's pricing scheme places it toe-to-toe against Apple's iPad 2; the 16GB version retails for $499, 32GB for $599 and 64GB for $699.
Unlike the swarm of Android-based tablets hitting the market, the PlayBook relies on a proprietary operating system developed in-house by RIM, using assets acquired during the April 2010 takeover of QNX Software systems.
With its dual-core processor and features such as multitasking, the PlayBook is targeted not only at consumers, but also BlackBerry's traditional business audience.
In a bid to further appeal to business users, RIM recently signed an agreement with Microsoft that will give the PlayBook the ability to port and display Office 365 data from any user's BlackBerry, via a tethering service called BlackBerry Bridge. Office 365's cloud-based subscription model allows organizations to stay up-to-date with the latest versions of Microsoft Office, SharePoint Online, Exchange Online and Lync Online. Also as part of that agreement, RIM's BlackBerry Enterprise will apparently connect "cloud to cloud" with Microsoft's data centers to host Office 365 data on users' BlackBerrys.
For more, read the eWeek article RIM PlayBook Priced for Apple iPad Head-to-Head.