Pulling out the Playbook - Macleans.ca

Pulling out the Playbook

RIM has finally unveiled a working demo of its rival to the iPad—the BlackBerry Playbook

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Pulling out the Playbook

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Research In Motion has been locked in a bitter battle with tech rivals like Apple, but lately it seems shareholders couldn’t be happier. The company, which has been losing ground in the battle over smartphones, finally unveiled a working demo of its rival to the iPad—the BlackBerry Playbook—last Tuesday. Company co-chief executive Mike Lazaridis debuted the seven-inch, multi-touch tablet at the Adobe MAX conference in Los Angeles, showcasing its integrated camera for video conferencing, high-definition screen and full Flash support—all features the iPad has been criticized for lacking.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs has dismissed the Playbook as being “too small,” but RIM shareholders seem to disagree. The device, which hits store shelves as early as next March and is marketed as the world’s first “professional” tablet, drove RIM stock up 5.8 per cent on Tuesday and 10 per cent overall last week.