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BlackBerry tablet gets needed upgrade after sales flop

After disappointing sales, the BlackBerry PlayBook will get an upgrade, finally allowing users an email client on the device.

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BlackBerry PlayBook software gets an overhaul after disappointing sales of the tablet device. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

According to CBC News, Blackberry-maker Research In Motion (RIM) has released a long awaited update to its PlayBook tablet, which flopped in sales when it was released last year.

The new update, 2.0, will address a number of missing features in the last model, including a built-in email function.

Before this most recent software update, according to Reuters, users of the PlayBook were forced to check e-mail, contacts and their calendar by hooking up their Blackberry to the device. This made it difficult to use as a business tool.

The initial release of the PlayBook was heavily criticized, Flagging sales figures forced RIM to lower prices, says Reuters.

According to the BBC, RIM sold only 150,000 PlayBooks in the last quarter, compared to the market leader, the Apple iPad, which sold more than 15.4 million devices in the same period.

The PlayBook is the first RIM device to use the company's new QNX-based operating system, which will likely be used to power future Blackberry phones.

CBC reports that new features in the PlayBook 2.0 include: a unified inbox for multiple email accounts, and a contacts filing system that combines information from social networks and thousands of new apps, among other minor improvements.

RIM also plans on launching an online video store in the United States this year supported by the PlayBook.

The company is banking on the new PlayBook after a number of slips last year, including a three day service outage which led to the ousting of the company's co-CEOs.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/business-tech/technology-news/120221/blackberry-tablet-gets-needed-upgrade-after-sales