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BlackBerry PlayBook software upgraded

04 October 2012, 16:20 Duncan Alfreds

Cape Town - BlackBerry maker Research In Motion has released the next version of its PlayBook tablet operating system software.

The BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.1 update is meant to upgrade security for consumers on the devices as the company looks to drive sales despite losing market share in the US to competitors running Google's Android operating system and Apple's iOS.

RIM was quick to point out that the upgrade contained "enterprise-grade encryption" and the company has had some success in ensuring that its devices are secure.

Its BlackBerry 7 operating system for smartphones met security criteria for evaluation assurance level 4+.

The evaluation assurance level 4+ came into effect in 1999 and is the highest level of accreditation under the Common Criteria Recognition Arrangement (CCRA) recognised by 26 countries.

Market share

PlayBook owners can use the BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS) package on their BlackBerry smartphones to access the internet on the Wi-Fi devices at no additional cost and the upgrade also allows the sending of SMSes in the new version of BlackBerry Bridge, the software that connects the tablet to the smartphone.

RIM is targeting corporates with its BlackBerry products after new CEO Thorsten Heins said that the firm was all but abandoning the fight for the consumer smartphone market, in the face of stiff competition from rivals.

US industry tracker comScore revealed in October that in the US, Samsung was the top handset manufacturer at 25.7% of the market, while RIM products slid 3.1% to 8.3%.

In SA though, BlackBerry devices dominate the smartphones with an over 50% market share, thanks in part to its BIS offering.

While there are no reliable public statistics on the number of PlayBooks sold, RIM said that the upgrade was free to all PlayBook owners.

The company is widely expected to release its much anticipated BlackBerry 10 devices in early 2013 and has been courting developers to write apps for the platform.

- News24


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