Research In Motion Tablet Computer to Sell for Less Than $500

Research In Motion (RIMM) will sell its BlackBerry PlayBook tablet computer in North America with a price tag of less than $500.

"The product will be very competitively priced," Co-CEO Jim Balsillie told Bloomberg News. Balsillie declined to be more specific on the price.

RIM hopes that the price tag will help give the BlackBerry Playbook an edge over Apple's (AAPL) iPad, an early leader in the tablet computer market.

The iPad currently starts at $499.

The BlackBerry Playbook, which will go on sale in North America in the first quarter of 2011, will also support Flash software. This will allow it to play Internet videos that are currently unwatchable on many iPads.

The iPad's market dominance will "change when we're in the market," Balsillie said.

Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple, said that devices like the PlayBook are "dead on arrival", because they are too small to compete with the iPad.

The PlayBook has a 7-inch screen, compared with the iPad's 9.7-inch display.

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