Less than two months after releasing their PlayBook tablet in North America, Research In Motion is preparing to invade 16 new markets, bringing it into more direct competition with Apple's popular iPad device.
RIM's tablet is expected to land on store shelves in the UK, Germany, Australia, India and France, amongst other countries, Reuters reports.
The PlayBook has been the topic of much discussion since it was first announced by RIM last September, with much of that attention directed at whether or not the device could compete with Apple's market-dominating iPad.
RIM sold 50,000 Playbooks on April 19, the device's launch day — considerably lower than the 300,000 first-day iPad sales.
In spite of an early OS problem that resulted in the recall of 1,000 tablets, the BlackBerry manufacturer has since moved 250,000 units within the first month, and is expected to sell 500,000 of the tablets within the first quarter, the Montreal Gazette reports.
While it is now clear that the PlayBook is playing second fiddle to the iPad — nobody has sold an organ to get a PlayBook — RIM's tablet also stands to net considerable profits for the smartphone maker as the tablet PC market is expected to grow.