updated 11:10 pm EST, Tue March 8, 2011
BlackBerry PlayBook to come with 7digital music
RIM late Tuesday scored a deal to give the BlackBerry PlayBook a preloaded music store. 7digital's store will be preloaded on the tablet and give access to about 13 million pay-per-track songs. The store is the most popular on BlackBerry phones and is one of the few to have an international scope, having grown beyond Europe to reach the US two years ago.
The content will give the PlayBook a full music catalog and is likely a partial hedge against iTunes, considered one of the iPad's advantages. Even after the original 7digital deal, the BlackBerry's media content has usually been splintered at best, with only some services available in some areas and none of them preloaded.
Multiple deals have already been lined up as promises of basic content on the PlayBook, starting with Kobo's bookstore and expanding to extras such as EA games. RIM's historically weak developer support for media-intensive apps has made it scramble to get deals now that its hardware and software can properly support their apps. Apple's self-run media store and its gaming-friendly policies have helped it attract content much more quickly.
The PlayBook is officially due to ship in March, though a Staples leak has put retail training only at the end of that month and has led many to believe April is a more probable release window. RIM still hasn't given prices about half a year after first showing the PlayBook.