Tablet war hotting up in India

The Canadian firm will launch PlayBook in Indian markets and some other countries this month, sources said. According to the company’s website, the PlayBook is scheduled to be launched in 16 countries, including the UK, Netherlands, Hong Kong, Australia, UAE and India.

“The price is going to be competitive with the other products and in line with the global pricing as well.” The price in India could range between Rs 22,000 and Rs 32,000, depending upon its storage capacity, from 16 GB to 64 GB.

Globally, PlayBook is available at US$499, US$599 and US$699 for the 16GB, 32GB and 64GB versions, respectively. Since the launch of Apple’s iPad, the tablet market is witnessing huge competition, with new contenders launching their devices. A tablet PC, though smaller in size, has PC-like functionalities.

Apple’s rival in the computing space, Dell had launched the ‘Streak’ last year in India, while homegrown telecom handset makers like Spice and Olive have launched similar devices at lower price points.

The BlackBerry tablet has received a mixed response from the markets where it has been launched. According to reports, unlike rival iPad, which sold like hot cakes on its launch in April last year, the PlayBook just sold 50,000 copies in the first week of its launch on April 19 in the US and Canada.

BlackBerry has over one million users in India and RIM would target them. The PlayBook is a seven-inch tablet that runs on a new operating system built by QNX Software Systems — a RIM unit that makes software used to run everything from cars to nuclear reactors.

On a PlayBook, users can go online only using a Wi-Fi network or by synchronising the device to their BlackBerry smartphones. According to analysts, sales in the tablet PC segment in India are expected to touch one million units over the next 12 months.

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