While US owners of the BlackBerry PlayBook have been using the PlayBook Video Store for a while, Canadians were not so lucky.
Today, however, RIM played a little catch-up, releasing the app to Canadian PlayBook owners, most likely in preparation of an upcoming PlayBook 4G launch. The delayed launch of the Video Store was due to content negotiations and digital rights management.
Available from BlackBerry App World on the device, users are now able to either rent or buy movies and television shows, in much the same way as Apple’s iTunes does, and at a similar price (about $5 to rent a current release blockbuster).
Nick Manning, a spokesman for RIM, told The Globe and Mail that, "With the Video Store, customers have the option of streaming a trailer before making a purchase decision, and can also begin watching media as soon as they start to download a file.”
While the launch of the Video Store will likely not turn people from their iPads, it may just sway those sitting on the fence about which tablet to buy. Earlier this month, Techvibes reported that PlayBook marketshare is increasing, accounting for 19% of the Canadian tablet market, second only to the iPad. These figures are due primarily to the PlayBook’s February update, which finally added an email client and calendar to the platform, as well as huge cuts to the price of the tablet, from $500 down to $200.
It will be interesting to se if the recent release of Google’s Nexus 7, an Android-powered tablet with the same size and price-point, will seriously hurt PlayBook sales. The PlayBook does however have an HDMI output, something the Nexus 7 lacks, allowing movies to be played on a television through a direct cable connection.