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SEOUL, Nov 10 (Reuters) – BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (TO:RIM), a late entrant in the booming tablet market, will take on Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad with competitive pricing of its rival Playbook device.

The Canadian firm’s tablet, set to launch in the first quarter of next year, will start contributing to its sales "right at the gate," said RIM Co-Chief Executive Jim Balsillie.

RIM, which later said it will sell the PlayBook for less than $500, is confident the 7-inch tablet would help sustain "fast sales growth," Balsillie said.

RIM’s Nasdaq-listed shares jumped more than 6 percent on Wednesday to as high as $58.72, their highest since June.

"You have seen the smartphone market just explode…we are in the right sweet spot… This idea that there are two players and a small pie and they are divvying that between them — you are missing the point," Balsillie told Reuters in an interview on the sidelines of the G20 CEO Summit in Seoul.

Balsillie was referring to a perceived two-way battle for mobile dominance between Apple and Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android operating system.

RIM’s Nasdaq-listed shares jumped more than 6 percent on Wednesday to as high as $58.72, their highest level since June.

RIM has eagerly touted its tablet’s ability to support Adobe’s widely used Flash multimedia software, something Apple’s iPad does not.

Last month, Apple CEO Steve Jobs said a batch of seven-inch-screen tablets, including the PlayBook, that will compete with Apple’s 10-inch iPad would be "dead on arrival" when they hit the market. RIM insists the seven-inch tablets would be a big portion of the market.

The iPad’s Wi-Fi-only version, sells at $499 and runs up to $699 for a 64-GB model. A 3G iPad starts at $629.

RIM will be lagging rivals such as Samsung Electronics, which aims to sell at least 1 million units of Galaxy Tab this quarter alone. Apple’s iPad controls 95 percent of the market.

"It’s (tablet) a long strategic market and we are still growing 20 percent plus… We are still growing fast and we haven’t factored into tablets and we have great products," Balsillie said.

International sales of the Playbook start in the second quarter.