Blackberry aims PlayBook at iPad

2011 availability next year could hurt hopes to dent Apple

Blackberry creator Research in Motion Ltd. introduced a new tablet device, Blackberry PlayBook, aimed at providing a competitive alternative to Apple's iPad.

But analysts believe PlayBook may not arrive in time to stall iPad's momentum given it won't be available until early next year. That could mean PlayBook may have to face off against an updated version of iPad, which Apple is also said to be readying for rollout next year.

RIM unveiled PlayBook, which is a 9.7 mm device with a 7-inch screen, on Monday at its annual developers conference. In addition to Apple, Hewlett Packard and Samsung are also said to be preparing competing devices to the iPad.

RIM also has yet to disclose how it will price Playbook.
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