RIM says tablet software is future for smartphones

SAN FRANCISCO Tue Dec 7, 2010 9:20pm EST

Conference attendees look over the new Blackberry PlayBook at the Research in Motion Blackberry developer's conference in San Francisco, California September 27, 2010. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

Conference attendees look over the new Blackberry PlayBook at the Research in Motion Blackberry developer's conference in San Francisco, California September 27, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Robert Galbraith

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Research in Motion Ltd said the software in its forthcoming tablet will eventually find its way into its flagship BlackBerry line of smartphones.

RIM Co-CEO Mike Lazaridis said on Tuesday the platform used in its Playbook tablet is also targeted for future smartphones that run more complex, multi-core processors.

"By focusing on the tablet market, we see an opportunity to free where the smartphone can go," he said at the D: Dive Into Mobile conference.

"When we have multi-core processors across the board, they'll all be running the Playbook platform," Lazaridis said. But he declined to say when it would arrive in BlackBerry smartphones.

RIM is launching the 7-inch PlayBook in the first quarter of 2011, in a bid to challenge the dominance of Apple's iPad.

Lazaridis also touted the Flash compatibility of the PlayBook, in an obvious dig at the iPad, which does not run Flash-based programs or websites.

"We're all using Flash ... why wouldn't we expect our tablets to run Flash?" he said.

RIM has not disclosed sales targets for the PlayBook, but analysts forecast between 2 million and 4 million shipments next year.

(Reporting by Gabriel Madway)

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