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RIM rejects claims of weak PlayBook battery

Responding to a Kaufman Bros. report asserting that the PlayBook tablet has a short-lived battery, RIM says any outsiders would have seen pre-beta units without power management enabled.

RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook
RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook Research In Motion

RIM has rebutted recent claims that its upcoming BlackBerry PlayBook tablet is hampered by a short battery life.

On Tuesday, Kaufman Bros. analyst Shaw Wu issued a report in which he cited unnamed sources saying that the PlayBook's battery lasts only a few hours, compared with Samsung's Galaxy Tab, which lasts for six hours, and Apple's iPad, which runs for 10 hours on single charge. The analyst pointed to the weak battery life as a reason why Research In Motion has delayed the launch of the device until the company's May 2011 quarter.

But in a response issued today, RIM rejected those claims, according to Reuters, and insisted that the development of the battery was on schedule and that its life would be comparable to that of the competing tablets. The BlackBerry maker also offered an explanation of why outside testers may have assumed the battery would be weak.

"Any testing or observation of battery life to date by anyone outside of RIM would have been performed using pre-beta units that were built without power management implemented," the company said in a statement e-mailed to Reuters.

Even with comparable battery life, the PlayBook faces an uphill battle competing against the likes of the iPad. An analyst from Oppenheimer expects RIM to sell only around 3.3 million units over the course of the year after it launches. In contrast, Apple sold 3 million iPads just in the first three months.

See also: BlackBerry PlayBook, first impressions