RIM offering PlayBook outside North America

Blackberry maker Research In Motion announced plans Friday to begin selling its new touchscreen tablet computer, the PlayBook, outside of North America.

RIM said the PlayBook would go on sale in Australia, Britain, Colombia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela over the next 30 days.

The Waterloo, Ontario-based RIM released the PlayBook in April to mixed reviews. The device is RIM's answer to Apple's hot-selling iPad and its first foray outside the mobile phone realm.

RIM is offering three models of the PlayBook. A version with 16 gigabytes of storage for $499, a 32GB model for $599 and one with 64GB for $699. The prices are the same as for comparable models of the iPad.

RIM describes the PlayBook as the first "professional-grade" tablet and has stressed its integration with its BlackBerry smartphone, a favorite among business users.

In May, RIM recalled around 1,000 PlayBooks because of an operating system issue.

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