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BlackBerry takes on the iPad with Playbook pricing set to be under $500 (£310)

RIM’s co-CEO, Jim Balsillie, has confirmed that the BlackBerry Playbook will be “very competitively priced” when it launches in 2011.

We take this to mean that it will be available for less than $500 in order to undercut the Apple iPad (that’s around £310, although we won’t be surprised if the UK gets a heftier price tag).

Hitting the US in Q1 next year and gradually rolling out to the rest of the world in Q2, the PlayBook is set to take on the iPad, particularly in the business world. It offers true multitasking thanks to its 1Ghz dual-core processors and 1GB of RAM, two full HD cameras, HTML 5 and Flash 10.1 capability and full HD (1080p) support. It’s as if RIM took the iPad specs and aimed to best each of them.

Balsillie wasn’t afraid to make a few sweeping statements as he spoke to Korean press in Seoul. He told reporters that the iPad’s dominance in the tablet market will “change when we’re in the market”, and that consumers are tiring of Apple.

The sub-$500 price tag on the BlackBerry PlayBook could make all the difference when it makes it to the shop shelves; despite its impressive spec, RIM has a lot of ground to make up with consumers who have increasingly turned from its mobile devices to the likes of iOS and Android. [Bloomberg]

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