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BlackBerry aficionados await PlayBook's launch in UAE stores

Tablet will hit market on June 25, but price is yet to be announced

Gulf News

Dubai: BlackBerry's new PlayBook tablet will hit stores in the UAE on June 25, says distribution firm Emitac Mobile Solutions (EMS).

News of the PlayBook roll-out yesterday comes after Canadian BlackBerry manufacturers Research in Motion (RIM) officially unveiled the new tablet to the UAE at a preview party last week in Dubai.

"We are very excited to be bringing the eagerly awaited BlackBerry PlayBook to the UAE," said Babar Khan, chief executive officer of EMS, a Dubai-based strategic partner of RIM.

Smartphone penetration

"After experiencing a successful launch in North America, we look to continue this within our region, where smartphone penetration is very high. With features such as seamless integration with a BlackBerry smartphone, Docs to Go for document editing and HDMI output, we expect the BlackBerry PlayBook to become an essential tool for this region's businesses," Khan said in a statement.

Prices in the UAE for the new PlayBook have yet to be announced.

The tablets are now selling in the United States from $499 (Dh1,830) for the 16GB model up to $699 for the 64GB model after the North American PlayBook launch in April.

Experience zones

When launched at UAE retailers, EMS said, shoppers can visit what are called PlayBook experience zones to "enable customers to experience the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet and access a wide range of mobile applications and content" from BlackBerry App World.

The tablets are smaller and more portable than the Apple iPad with a seven-inch LCD touch screen and will be available with built-in Wi-Fi connectivity.

A full list of retailers provided by EMC is said to include Carrefour, Sharaf DG, Jumbo, Jacky's, Eros, E-City, Geant, Aptec, Comtel, Compume, Lulu, Plug-Ins and E-Max.