Research in Motion (RIM) has launched the Playbook tablet in India, hoping to attract the one million plus existing Blackberry users who hanker for mobile TV and other vision-rich applications.

Sales in the tablet PC segment in India are expected to reach one million units in the coming 12 months, thanks to the roll out of 3G mobile networks, offering consumers far higher mobile internet speeds than previously available.

The PlayBook - which RIM hopes will compete with popular devices such as the Apple iPad and Samsung’s Galaxy Tab - is a seven-inch tablet that runs on a new RIM QNX operating system. As well as India, the RIM tablet is being launched across 15 countries including the UAE, Hong Kong and Australia over the next few weeks.

“There are a lot of tablets being launched in India,” Vishal Tripathi, principal research analyst at Gartner told the Press Trust of India. “The market is still niche but is growing at a rapid pace. The launch of PlayBook should not impact the sales of other tabs but will help grow the ecosystem,” he added.

Dell’s Streak was released in 2009 in India, while HTC and Motorola plan to introduce their tablet devices to the subcontinent soon. Competitively priced indigenous devices from mobile handset manufacturers such as Spice and Olive are also available in the Indian market.

The entry level 16GB RIM Playbook is priced in India at INR 27,990, while it will cost consumers INR 32,990 for the 32GB version, and INR 37,990 for the 64GB tablet.

Rebecca Hawkes | 24-06-2011