BlackBerry vs Apple

BlackBerry announces iPad rival

The company that makes BlackBerry mobile phones has announced plans for a new, touchscreen, tablet-style computer to rival the Apple iPad.

The PlayBook goes on sale next year.

Reporter: Mark Gregory

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BlackBerry's equivalent to the iPad has a smaller screen and is lighter than Apple's device. That's meant to make it appealing to business people on the move, the kind of people who already buy BlackBerry phones.

Nearly six million iPads were sold in the first six months, so it's easy to see why Research in Motion, the Canadian firm behind the BlackBerry, wants a bite of Apple's market. One key selling point for RIM's product is, unlike the iPad, it runs Flash video, the most popular software for showing moving images online.

Apple devices don't run Flash, thanks to a well-publicised feud between the company and Adobe, the firm behind the video technology.

Analysts say the BlackBerry tablet device is better placed than many rivals to mount an effective challenge to Apple. But it's seen as more likely to find a niche in the market than to be an outright iPad-killer.

Mark Gregory, BBC News, London