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RIM: PlayBook to Sell Below $500, We’ll Change iPad Dominance

by on November 9th, 2010

Steve Jobs was pretty adamant when he told investors during their recent Q4 earnings call that competitor 7″ tablets will be DOA–dead on arrival. Canadian tech company RIM announced their PlayBook a while back to take on the iPad.

Business Week has the latest news on the PlayBook pricing and some strong words from RIM Co-CEO Jim Balsillie. Here are the juicy bits from the article:

The iPad’s dominance in the tablet-computer market will “change when we’re in the market,” Balsillie said today.

In response, Balsillie said at the time customers are getting “tired” of Apple’s controlling business strategy.

RIM may sell the Playbook through retail stores of Target Corp. and Best Buy Co. in the U.S. as well through carriers, Balsillie said.

“Looking at both channels is the likely target,” he said.

So RIM wants to sell their 7″ tablet under $500 to rival the iPad. With Apple’s tablet, you’re getting a 10″ screen and a well established App Store. It’s interesting how much emphasis Balsillie is putting on the PlayBook being able to handle Flash. Is that the ultimate selling point that will sway customers away from the iPad? By the time the Playbook is released, people will already be hearing about iPad 2.

We know that the latest MacBook Air can save 2 hours of battery life without Flash installed. How much will this affect the PlayBook?

Definitely some strong words from Balsillie, as that’s his job to reassure investors that the PlayBook is going to be a success. But as another 7″ tablet, the PlayBook will have a tough time competing against the iPad based on existing reviews of similar 7″ tablets from competitors (Samsung Galaxy Tab) that run Flash.

What do you think? Will you consider the PlayBook when it’s released in 2011?

[Business Week, SlashGear for image]

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Posted under: iPad News

  • http://twitter.com/robschertzer Dr Robert Schertzer

    The Playbook, upon release, is still going to need to be tethered to a BlackBerry, right as it won’t have 3G? Galaxy tab will have 3G and of course we already have that with the iPad. Also, like you said, there will be a new iPad by that point so maybe Apple will slash the price on some of the current configurations like they’ve done whenever the new iPhones get released so they would severely undercut the Playbook price by the time it comes to market.

  • http://twitter.com/Egnaro Rick Mason

    “We know that the latest MacBook Air can save 2 hours of battery life without Flash installed. How much will this affect the PlayBook?”

    If you do some follow-up on this you’ll see that many people have demonstrated that this isn’t particularly Flash’s fault but rather the result of running any form of rich media that uses more cpu. Several tests have shown that HTML 5 versions of the same Flash content actually draw even more cpu power. So basically this is like saying the iPhone shouldn’t come with a video player because it causes the battery to die faster than when you just listen to mp3′s.

    While I do think RIM’s emphasis on the Playbook’s inclusion of Flash is a bit off, I think the real value of this is that you can use Flash/AIR to develop apps for the Playbook. This means there is an existing developer base in the millions who can create apps for this device – many of whom have wanted to create stuff for iOS but still haven’t learned how.

  • http://twitter.com/threepio Graham Williams

    I think I’m going to need to see citations of the “tests” you reference here Rick, because I believe your assertion is flat out untrue. The iPad itself is actually proof that rich media can be enjoyed for long periods without assassinating battery life.

    Please link these tests.