RIM Sets Price, Date for BlackBerry PlayBook ReleaseRIM Sets Price, Date for BlackBerry PlayBook Release
BlackBerry addicts rejoice: RIM has finally announced the impending launch of the BlackBerry Playbook. It's a good thing The VAR Guy didn't hold his breath waiting for this one. Prospective buyers can preorder now, but before you rush out the door to place your order, here are some details on the feature set and the price tag ...
March 24, 2011
BlackBerry addicts rejoice: RIM has finally announced the impending launch of the BlackBerry Playbook. It’s a good thing The VAR Guy didn’t hold his breath waiting for this one. Prospective buyers can preorder now, but before you rush out the door to place your order, here are some details on the feature set and the price tag …
The Playbook will be available in three models — 16GB, 32GB and 64GB — each with the respective price tags of $499, $559 and $699. No surprise on the iPad-like pricing, but what is surprising is RIM’s go-to-market strategy: Despite BlackBerry’s legacy as an enterprise mobile device, RIM is working with Best Buy as its preferred retailer for the Playbook. Come April 19, 2011, you can hit the big-box retailer to spend your hard-earned tax refund on the tablet, or you can order online after 8 a.m Eastern.
The VAR Guy is happy to hear the rumor that users needed a BlackBerry to use the tablet are no longer true. RIM is advertising a “BlackBerry Bridge” feature on the Playbook, allowing users to link their BlackBerry to the Playbook to access e-mail, BBM and other applications. RIM is calling the Playbook the first “professional-grade” tablet, which The VAR Guy finds amusing since it’s being sold at Best Buy. Plus, our resident blogger believes any number of Windows 7 tablet manufacturers could claim the title before RIM. Regardless, the 7-inch tablet is sporting a 1024×600 display, a 1GHz dual core CPU, 1GB of RAM and dual-1080p HD cameras for videoconferencing and playback. GPS, accelerometer, gyroscope and a digital compass are all included as well.
So where does the channel fit in RIM’s plans to bring the Playbook to market? RIM’s pithy comment:
“We expect the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet to be adopted by consumers and business users, as well as large enterprises, and it will be available from a number of IT resellers.”
Currently, larger resellers including CDW, SHI, Insight and Softchoice are accepting preorders, and other resellers Zones, OnX and Metafore will be carrying the device when it becomes available. Meanwhile, RIM has also announced which other retailers will be carrying the device, including Staples and Office Depot. Interesting.
How well will the Playbook fare amid the rapidly growing and potentially overcrowded tablet space? The VAR Guy knows not at this point. But our resident blogger has high hopes for the device and loves competition in the tablet marketplace. He can’t discount the sea of iPad users he encounters on his many business trips, but The VAR Guy wonders: Is this the tablet the channel was hoping for?
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