SAP will offer mobile enterprise applications specifically for RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook when the enterprise tablet launches early next year.
"The penetration of the RIM PlayBook will depend on the apps," Oliver Bussmann, chief information officer at SAP, told The Wall Street Journal." Apple has more enterprise apps ready. That is an advantage."
The iPad has proved hugely popular in the consumer and enterprise markets. Apple sold three million units in the first 80 days, and 4.19 million during the fourth quarter.
A number of businesses have rolled out the iPad to staff. SAP purchased 1,000 units for the company's software developers, and supports almost 2,000 iPads across the business.
However, some SAP employees are due to get their hands on the PlayBook within three to four weeks, according to Bussmann.
V3.co.uk contacted SAP for more comment but was still awaiting a response at the time of writing.
SAP's support for the RIM tablet will help the software firm to achieve ambitious plans to offer its products on mobile platforms within nine months, using technology from the recently acquired enterprise mobility firm Sybase.
Bill McDermott, SAP co-chief executive, said in August that the firm will be the "only company able to deliver the full suite of applications and business intelligence to customers on any platform, anywhere".
"We've been working closely with a number of top developers, including SAP, to create new and exciting apps for customers and we are very optimistic these will give users a better all round experience, compared to rival devices," a RIM spokesperson told V3.co.uk.
A video demonstration of apps on the BlackBerry PlayBook is available on the BlackBerry Developers Blog.
RIM has confirmed that the BlackBerry PlayBook will begin shipping in the US in the first quarter of 2011, with an international release to follow in Q2. The tablet is expected to retail at under $500 (£310).
The device sports a 1,024 x 600 WSVGA capacitive touch screen, and is powered by a 1GHz dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM.
The PlayBook will be able to connect via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth only at launch, but RIM said that it intends to "offer 3G and 4G models in the future".
The tablet runs BlackBerry Tablet OS, which is based on the QNX Neutrino real-time operating system. This supports a WebKit browser, HTML 5, Adobe Flash 10.1, Adobe Mobile AIR, Adobe Reader, POSIX, OpenGL and Java. MicroHDMI, microUSB and charging contacts are incorporated into the shell.
A front-mounted 3-megapixel camera and 5-megapixel rear-mounted camera offer video calling and HD capabilities, and RIM said that the device supports 1080p HD playback.
Jim Balsillie co-founder of RIM, attacked the iPad during a session at the Web 2.0 conference in San Francisco last week.
Apple's focus on downloading applications is designed to mask the iPad's poor performance, he said, claiming that that the PlayBook is three to four times faster.
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