Last week marked the beginning of what RIM hopes, and very much needs, to be a resurgent period for the company. The financially-stricken Canadians announced the launch of its brand new 4G LTE BlackBerry PlayBook, throwing down the first marker in a series of releases set to include the hotly anticipated BlackBerry 10 platform.
But the PlayBook tablet is the focus just now, and for the first time we have an idea of how much the device may cost. With its launch beginning in native Canada this Thursday, 9 August, Mobile Syrup has leaked the pricing structure set by Canadian suppliers TELUS and Rogers.
Both firms will reportedly offer the 32 GB tablet for $549.99 on a no-term contract, meaning a similar deal here would see it cost around the £353 mark. Not cheap.
The full Rogers listing has the PlayBook available for $499.99 on a one year contract, $449.99 for a two year deal, and $349.99 for three years. This would equate to £321, £289 and £225 respectively in the UK.
The prices come in significantly higher than the current 7in tablet favourite – the Google Nexus 7 – and with the sub-£200 Nexus flaunting generally more impressive specs, RIM could have its work cut-out to make a substantial dent in the market with the new PlayBook, regardless of its 4G LTE status.
RIM’s diminishing but loyal user-base will be called upon to make the tablet a success as the company seeks to revive its flagging fortunes. One other way of helping the firm compete with its dominant rivals may be to license its forthcoming BlackBerry 10 OS to other phone manufacturers, a plan CEO Thorsten Heins said he is considering.