Now that RIM has confirmed the release date of April 19th for the PlayBook, the only other real questions are how much it will cost and where can I buy it?
These questions have been answered today, as we can confirm that the pricing for the PlayBook will be $499 for the 16GB model, $599 for the 32GB model, and $699 for the 64GB model. No real surprises. All units will have 1GB of onboard RAM as well as 1GHz dual-core processor.
Pre-ordering is being accepted today from a number of sources, including Best Buy and Staples, which look to be the two big retailers that will be pushing the PlayBook in the U.S. RIM claims that the PlayBook will be available in over 20,000 retail outlets in North America. Other retail partners in the U.S. include: AT&T, Cbeyond, Cellular South, Cincinnati Bell, Office Depot, RadioShack, ShopBlackBerry.com, Sprint, Verizon, and Wireless Giant. Canadian partners include: Bell, Best Buy, Costco, Chapters/Indigo, Future Shop, Mobilicity, MTS Allstream, Rogers, Sasktel, Sears, ShopBlackBerry.com, Staples, Telus, Tbooth Wireless, The Source, Videotron, Wal-Mart, WIND Mobile, Wireless etc, and WirelessWave.
As we told you previously, the first PlayBook devices released will not offer 3G wireless support, but instead will connect to your BlackBerry device - for example, over Bluetooth for a 3G connection, or use the built-in a/b/g/n Wi-Fi wireless for connectivity.
It is expected that the next generation of the PlayBook will offer its own cellular connectivity, according to our sources. The PlayBook will use its own BlackBerry Tablet OS which, of course, is different from the Apple iOS and Android models. The PlayBook offers some interesting features that are different from what we have seen previously. Its target market is the corporate and enterprise space, and especially those companies that already have standardized on BlackBerry smartphone and are using BlackBerry Enterprise Server.