The BlackBerry tablet PlayBook will hit markets in India and 15 other countries within the next month, Research In Motion (RIM) said on Friday.
The Waterloo-based Canadian company announced it plans to roll out the Playbook “in an additional 16 markets around the world over the next 30 days.”
Launched in the US and Canada last April, the tablet will reach India, Britain, France, Australia, the UAE and 10 other countries in the next 30 days, RIM said.
Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Italy, Spain, Germany, Holland, Mexico, Indonesia, Venezuela and Columbia will be the other countries to get the RIM tablet.
The RIM announcement said, “The BlackBerry PlayBook is the world’s first professional-grade tablet, delivering industry leading performance, uncompromised web browsing, true multitasking, HD multimedia, advanced security features, out-of-the-box enterprise support and a robust development environment.”
Unlike the rival iPad which sold like hot cakes on its launch in April 2010, the BlackBerry tablet sold just 50,000 copies in the first week of its launch April 19. Sales at the end of its first month on the market were put at 250,000 units.
According to analysts, RIM is expected to sell half a million tablets by the end of its current quarter.
India has over a million BlackBerry users and RIM will target them as the Wi-Fi tablet can link with the BlackBerry smart phone through BlackBerry Bridge without the need to subscribe to a wireless carrier.
Though Indian prices are not known at this stage, the seven-inch, Wi-Fi-only PlayBook comes in three models in the range of $499 to $699, featuring 16, 32 and 64 gigabytes of storage capacity.
RIM has said that it will launch 3G and 4G versions that run on wireless networks later this year. The new versions will also offer Android as well as native email.
Meanwhile, there was no respite for the troubled Canadian wireless giant as its stock further slipped 2.26 percent to close at $35.82 on the Toronto Stock Exchange Friday.
The stock is not even one-fourth of its value of $150 seen just before the onset of the global meltdown, fuelling rumours that RIM could be snapped up by Microsoft or Apple.