BlackBerry maker Research In Motion launched a keyboard on Tuesday that will couple with its poor-selling PlayBook tablet, and it hopes the potential for improved productivity earns it kudos among key office workers who have embraced Apple’s iPad.
The keyboard, which the Canadian smartphone company is selling for $120, uses a secure Bluetooth wireless link and has a touchpad that mimics the PlayBook’s touch gestures. The touchpad can also be used as a computer mouse.
RIM sold just 150,000 PlayBooks in the three months to late November, pushing the company to sharply discount the device and write down the value of unsold inventory. RIM will report its latest quarterly results on March 29.
Apple, which has long offered a keyboard and other peripherals for the iPad and will start selling a third-generation version on Friday, sold more than 15 million iPads in its most recent quarter.