Where Apple goes, the tech minions will follow. In the three years since the iPhone debuted, Apple’s revolutionary smartphone has become the de-facto form factor for nearly all smartphones while simultaneously influencing the functionality and software handset makers put into their products.
In a similar vein, Apple’s iPad stormed out of the gate with a vengeance and now accounts for a considerable amount of Apple’s quarterly revenue. Looking to hop on board the tablet bandwagon, stores this holiday season will be drowning in iPad competitors from a slew of hardware companies, not the least of which is RIM.
Not too long ago, RIM unveiled its iPad competitor dubbed the PlayBook. Sporting a 7-inch screen, which if you ask Steve Jobs means that it’s dead on arrival, the PalyBook comes equipped with a 1 GHz processor along with dual side cameras. Other iPad rivals have found it tough, if not impossible, to compete with the iPad’s surprisingly low pricepoints. The result is that all iPad competitors have thus far been underpowered and overpriced.
RIM is looking to avoid that trap by actually undercutting the iPad’s selling price. Responding to a question about the PlayBook’s price, RIM CEO Jim Balsillie stated, “The product will be very competitively priced,” and when asked about if it will cost the same as the base model iPad, he responded, “no, it will be under that.”
Starting at $499, the base model iPad solely supports WiFi connectivity and comes with 16GB of storage. We’ll have to wait and see just how low RIM is willing to price it’s first attempt at competing head-on with the iPad. But if the “success” of the BlackBerry Storm is any indication, then Apple probably doesn’t have much to worry about.