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BlackBerry Playbook update coming on heels of BB10

BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.1 beta available for download for developers

BlackBerry PlayBook is grabbing some of the spotlight following the much buzzed-about launch of the BB10 smartphones, even though it is far less flashy tidbit about an update titled

"The release puts the tablet through the same BlackBerry World rebranding we've seen on the Z10 along with truly functional improvements, such as support for in-app payments and the addition of SMS chats through BlackBerry Bridge," Jon Fingas wrote in the Engadget blog on Wednesday.

"Less conspicuous audio and browser upgrades lurk beneath. While it's not the BlackBerry 10 upgrade that some would crave, the patch is proof the company still has love for its original QNX-based gadget."

In January, All Things Digital blog reported a software update was coming. Chief Executive Thorsten Heins said that the company is working on a software update that will bring the new BlackBerry 10 software to existing PlayBook tablets.

When it comes to future tablets, however, Heins said the company is trying to figure out a way to combine software and services since selling tablet hardware alone is a tough way to make money at the moment, wrote Ina Fried.

"We are looking for specific value added services on top of the tablet," Fried quoted Heins as saying.

Shares of BlackBerry took a hit this week as the hype over the launch of its BB10 products waned, and after home improvement retailer Home Depot said its executives will receive Apple's iPhone to replace their BlackBerrys.

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