BlackBerry stock soars after tablet demo

By Gurmukh Singh, IANS
Tuesday, October 26, 2010

TORONTO - BlackBerry stock soared more than six percent Tuesday after a demonstration of its just-unveiled PlayBook tablet Monday.

After hovering under $50 for some time, RIM stock rose almost 6.2 percent to close at $56.17 on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSE) Tuesday.

But the stock is still almost one-third of its peak of $150 reached in June 2008. It has dropped about 23 percent this year alone.

RIM had unveiled the PlayBook last month to take on Apple’s iPad.

But to differentiate its tablet from the iPad because of its use of Adobe Flash to handle video content, RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis demonstrated the PlayBook at a software developers’ conference in Los Angeles Monday. Apple’s iPad doesn’t run Adobe Flash.

“We are providing a professional experience, something we are all used to on our desktops and laptops, in a small very powerful tablet format,” Lazaridis said in a video of the demonstration which is now posted on YouTube.

“We are not trying to dumb down the internet for a small mobile device. What we are trying to do is bring up the performance of the mobile device to the internet,” the BlackBerry co-CEO added.

RIM was forced to demonstrate the tablet after Apple boss Steve Jobs last week dismissed it as “too small”. The PlayBook measures seven inches against the 9.7-inch iPad.

“The 10-inch screen size is the minimum required to have great tablet apps. We don’t think you can make a great tablet with a seven-inch screen. We think it’s too small to express the software that people want to put onthese things,” Steve Jobs had said.

Giving thumbs-up to the BlackBerry tablet, Adobe senior vice president David Wadhwani said Monday: “The close collaboration between RIM and the Adobe (AIR team) has achieved an implementation which we expect to be the first to include high performance optimisations for tablet devices.”

“This, combined with great tooling integration and full Flash Player 10.1 support, makes the BlackBerry PlayBook an outstanding platform for more than three million Flash developers.”

The Playbook will hit the market early next year.

(Gurmukh Singh can be contacted at

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