When RIM decided to officially announce the PlayBook, their entry into the newly-reinvented-by-Apple tablet space, they left out two important details about the device: how much it will cost and when it will become available. On the latter, the only thing RIM had to say was “early 2011″.
Today DigiTimes got a little bit more information, by speaking to Gregory Wade, RIM’s Regional VP for Asia Pacific. It turns out that the PlayBook will at first only be sold in North America – and that will happen in the first quarter of 2011.
Worldwide availability is scheduled for the second quarter of next year, so, sadly, some countries probably won’t see RIM’s tablet before June 2011.
The PlayBook will cost $500, although it’s unclear if that price includes subsidies and what market it’s for. Judging by past tablet launches, I’d venture a guess and say that the PlayBook will probably be $500 in North America unsubsidized. If that’s the case, carrier subsidies may get the price even lower, and taxes may get it higher in other territories.
The PlayBook will also apparently have support for “4G technology”, though no more details have been made public. That may mean that it will sport a built-in Wi-Max or LTE radio (neither of which, by the way, actually is 4G, but that’s another story) – or just that it will be able to pair with a BlackBerry that has HSPA+ support (since apparently that’s “4G” too nowdays).
More details will surely come before this tablet hits the market, so stay tuned.
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