“Research In Motion Ltd. shares fell as much as 4% Tuesday as analysts had mixed reactions to the company’s latest device — a tablet designed to compete against Apple Inc.’s popular iPad,” Dan Gallagher reports for MarketWatch.

“The tablet — known as the PlayBook — was introduced by RIM Monday at its annual developers conference in San Francisco,” Gallagher reports. “No price was given for the touch-screen device, which is expected to go on sale in the U.S. sometime in early 2011 and in other markets by the second quarter. ‘With the PlayBook only available for consumers after the holiday season, we view this as a mild disappointment,’ wrote T. Michael Walkley of Canaccord Adams in a note to clients Tuesday. Walkley noted that the lack of a product demonstration made it more difficult to gauge its potential.”

Gallagher reports, “Several brokers have grown negative on RIM lately, on the belief that sales of BlackBerry smart phones will face growing competition from rival products such as the iPhone ‘We maintain our negative rating as we believe RIM’s new product launches [PlayBook, Torch] do not address near-term share losses in the North American consumer smart-phone market,’ wrote Jeff Fidacaro of Susquehanna in a report Tuesday.”

Full article here.