Research In Motion revealed a new tablet device and associated operating system at its developer conference yesterday. The BlackBerry PlayBook tablet will arrive in the USA early next year (and in other markets from Q2 2011), while the BlackBerry Tablet OS software development kit is planned for release in the next few weeks.
The BlackBerry PlayBook has a 7-inch 1024 x 600 pixel display, a 1 GHz dual-core processor, a Flash-enabled browser, weighs around 400g and is 130mm x 193mm x 10mm. It'll be WiFi-equipped with 3G and 4G models expected in the future. Content on a BlackBerry smartphone – including email, BlackBerry Messenger, calendar, tasks and documents – can be accessed by 'pairing' the tablet using Bluetooth.
Mike Lazaridis, President and Co-CEO at Research In Motion, said "RIM set out to engineer the best professional-grade tablet in the industry with cutting-edge hardware features and one of the world's most robust and flexible operating systems. The BlackBerry PlayBook solidly hits the mark with industry leading power, true multitasking, uncompromised web browsing and high performance multimedia."
Also expected in Spring 2011 is the BlackBerry Messenger Social Platform, which will let developers include aspects of the BBM service in their applications. It means that over 28 million BBM users will be able to play games that include online chat and content sharing.
Finally, there's an advertising service for the BlackBerry Application Platform. This helps developers integrate advertising in their BlackBerry applications while also allowing advertisers to work with a selection of ad networks. Developers will receive 60% of the advertising revenue.