By Shane McGinley  www.arabianbusiness.com

The BlackBerry Playbook has made its UAE debut despite fears delays in supply from Europe would push back the device’s launch in the region, its Dubai distributor said Monday.

The PlayBook has been touted as the first serious contender to Apple’s iPad
The PlayBook has been touted as the first serious contender to Apple’s iPad

The BlackBerry tablet, touted as the first serious contender to Apple’s iPad, is available in retail stores across the Gulf, distributor EMS said in a statement to Arabian Business.

The PlayBook, which was showcased at a launch event at Dubai’s Armani Hotel, was released in the US on April 19. Canadian makers Research in Motion (RIM) were forced to recall around 1,000 of the devices in May after they were shipped with a flawed operating system.

In a statement to CrackBerry.com, the Blackberry maker said the majority of the affected devices were still in the distribution channel and had not reached customers.

RIM’s shares neared a two-year low in mid-May as a result of the recall. RIM hoped the launch of the long-awaited PlayBook tablet could revive its fortunes, but the product garnered poor reviews and complaints it had been rushed out before it was ready.

RIM  is expected to ship some three million PlayBooks this year, far fewer than the 15 million iPads rival Apple shipped in a similar period last year to single-handedly create a market for touchscreen devices halfway between a smartphone and a laptop.

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