BlackBerry signs Indian-led company for tablet apps

A leading mobile content solutions enabler for large media companies, Toronto-based Polar Mobile is headed by Indian-origin Kunal Gupta. It has already developed over 180 apps for RIM's BlackBerry smart phones.

At about 20,000 RIM's app store compares poorly with Apple and Google's Android operating system which boast almost 290,000 and 150,000 apps respectively. Apple's iPad alone has over 60,000 apps specifically for it. Over 290,000 iPhone apps can also run on the iPad at lower resolution.

But with RIM's decision to run Android applications on its tablet, PlayBook users could get access to 200,000 more apps. By signing the deal with Polar Mobile to produce exclusive apps for its tablet, RIM aims to further distinguish the PlayBook from rival iPad.  The tablet will powered by a new powerful QNX operating system which RIM bought specifically for the PlayBook.

According to reports, under the deal Polar Mobile will design  about 100 apps for the BlackBerry tablet this year alone. Polar Mobile has over global publishers, including Time, Vogue,  Elle, CNN Money and Bloomberg Businessweek, as its clients for whom it has build over 500 smart phone apps.

Microsoft has also reportedly roped in Polar Mobile to build apps for its Windows smart phones. RIM is set to launch the PlayBook Wi-Fi version April 19. Its 3G/4G wireless version will come in the summer.

At 7-inch compared to the iPad which measures 11 inches, PlayBook is a lot more easy carry around on business trips. RIM has also not ruled out with bigger versions later on. With Apple's iPad 2 already selling more than two million units since its release earlier this month, the Canadian technology giant has its job cut out.

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