RIM joins tablet gold rush

RIM has thrown its hat into the tablet ring with the unveiling of the BlackBerry PlayBook and its new BlackBerry Tablet OS.
The Canadian vendor is billing the PlayBook as a “multitasking powerhouse,” stating that the new operating system is capable of true symmetric multiprocessing and that the tablet will integrate with its BlackBerry smartphones.
PlayBook is a seven-inch tablet powered by a 1GHz dual-core processor and imbibed with Flash 10.1, Adobe Mobile AIR, and HTML5. It has a touch screen, 1GB of RAM and dual HD cameras.
While the first version will be Wi-Fi only, RIM has promised 3G and 4G models in the future. In the meantime, the device can connect to 3G networks via wireless tethering.
The device is scheduled to ship in the US early next year, and in international markets starting from calendar 2Q.
However the Tablet OS software development kit will be released in the coming weeks. The new OS is built on the Neutrino architecture from subsidiary QNX Software Systems, which RIM bought last year for $200 million (€149 million).
RIM made the switch from BlackBerry OS because it contains legacy source code that limits the potential scope of devices sources told Bloomberg.
Word of the PlayBook leaked last week, as RIM becomes the latest vendor to jump on the tablet bandwagon following the success of Apple’s iPad.
Dell, Avaya, Cisco, HP and Samsung have each launched or announced tablets of their own.