PlayBook to get native email next month

 

Too little, too late?

Research in Motion's (RIM) PlayBook tablet will finally get native email in an OS update expected next month.

The troubled former king of smartphones announced the release at the CES conference in Las Vegas yesterday, following earlier delays.    

New features include an inbox that unifies work, personal email and social media accounts, tabbed email, rich-text email composing, and search across multiple email accounts.  

The BlackBerry phone, which has been an indisposable gateway for email on the PlayBook, will soon be able to double as a remote control for the tablet. 

As promised last October, the update should include a calendar that draws data about contacts from social networking sites.

Contact profiles will gather information such as updates, conversations and mutual contacts. 

The late delivery of such a key feature has not helped the device, which has failed to attract customers and has cost RIM hundreds of millions of dollars to clear excess inventory. 

RIM has shipped around 800,000 PlayBooks since the launch of the device last May.  

While RIM has bundled the PlayBook with BlackBerry phone contracts through Australian channel partners, prior to Christmas it began offering US consumers every model for the same price of $US299 until February of this year.

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