RIM Playbook to tether with Blackberry smartphones

by PYB James | Jan 01, 2011

The forthcoming BlackBerry PlayBook from Canadian manufacturers RIM will be released in the U.S. in the first quarter of this year and the wi-fi enabled tablet device will have tethering capabilities which will allow it to access a specified smartphone’s cellular network, calendar, messaging and web browsing facilities.

There has been much hype around the soon-to-be-released seven inch Blackberry tablet device, which will attempt to capture the professional sector of the tablet marketplace. That hype was only enhanced at last week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas where the new PlayBook was demonstrated and displayed.

New software entitled BlackBerry Bridge will facilitate the tethering between the PlayBook devices and BlackBerry smartphones, in conjunction with Bluetooth.

Users will be able to connect their PlayBook to popular consumer handset choices such as the BlackBerry Torch and the BlackBerry Curve and will be able to access web based platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Gmail, YouTube and LinkedIn via their devices. The web connection can all be managed via the smartphone cellular connection to the cloud, or via wi-fi.

Meanwhile, the PlayBook will give users access to Microsoft Office products such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint, which is a major consideration for business tablet users.

One of RIM’s aims with the new tablet product is to bridge the gap in the tablet market between business and mainstream consumer users, making the device appeal to both sectors. It is a challenge of encouraging creation and consumption simultaneously, something which the company have made strides with on their handsets which have a big consumer user base.

RIM themselves have described the BlackBerry PlayBook as, "Small enough to be portable, but powerful enough to be really, really useful."

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