RIM said it'll begin selling a Playbook tablet computer in North America in the first quarter for "under" $500 as it takes on Apple's iPad.
The tablet features a 1 GHz processor, 1 GB of RAM and has two cameras (front and back). The device features a high-resolution 7 inch screen making it DOA since it apparently won't include an accessory to shrink its user's fingers.
Waterloo, Ontario-based RIM is trying to differentiate itself from Apple and other tablet makers by stressing the ability of its PlayBook tablet to handle Adobe Systems's Flash technology that underpins much of the video content on the Internet. The iPad doesn't run Flash video or animation.
The company is counting on the tablet to increase revenue as the BlackBerry loses ground. RIM's share of the smartphone market slid to 18% in the Q2 from 19% a year earlier. Apple's iPhone boosted its share to 14% from 13%, and devices based on Google's Android software surged to 17% from 1.8%, according to researcher IDC.