RIM unveils Blackberry PlayBook as rival to iPad

RESEARCH in Motion (RIM) unveiled its own tablet computer to rival Apple’s iPad yesterday.

The computer, named BlackBerry PlayBook, has a seven-inch screen and dual facing cameras.

It is WiFi and Bluetooth enabled but needs to link with a BlackBerry smartphone to access the mobile phone network.

Shares of RIM jumped nearly two per cent to $49.29 in after hours trading following the announcement at the company’s annual developers’ conference in San Francisco.

RIM expects to ship the device to corporate customers and developers in October. It will become commercially available early in 2011.

While yet to set an exact price RIM said the PlayBook will fall in the lower range of prices for consumer tablets already on the market.