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BlackBerry PlayBook gets real today; AT&T blocking updates already

Today the BlackBerry PlayBook becomes available for order from retail outlets and from RIM directly. The app that lets owners access email on tethered phones is available too, except for AT&T customers.

Today the BlackBerry PlayBook becomes available for order from retail outlets and from RIM directly. The PlayBook is RIM's enterprise tablet that the company hopes ushers in a new era of tablets and the new OS based on QNX. The PlayBook is available from Best Buy, OfficeMax, Office Depot and Staples, and from the RIM online store.

The PlayBook hasn't fared well in early reviews, primarily due to the lack of email, contacts and calendaring software native to the tablet. RIM has developed the BlackBerry Bridge app to deal with that, which lets owners tether the PlayBook to BlackBerry phones to access those phone apps on the BlackBerry. Unfortunately, word is spreading that those with PlayBooks are finding that while the BlackBerry Bridge app is available for download from the BlackBerry App World, those on the AT&T network are blocked. It seems this vital app is listed as not available yet for those on AT&T.

Most likely AT&T is not happy with the free tethering that the BlackBerry Bridge app enables for PlayBook owners. AT&T PlayBook owners can get the app via a roundabout method as detailed here, and hopefully the carrier will get out of the way and let its customers enjoy the full benefits of the product it is selling.

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