Why RIM will sell more tablets than everybody except Apple

Summary:Say what you will about the BlackBerry PlayBook, I am convinced RIM is going to sell boatloads of them. There are millions of hardcore BlackBerry owners, and I believe RIM will sell many of them a tablet.

Say what you will about the BlackBerry PlayBook, I am convinced RIM is going to sell boatloads of them. Reviews of the PlayBook have been less than stellar, but the ones I've seen are written from the perspective of the techie who compares it to the rest of the tablet field. I am testing the PlayBook, and I see the point being made by these reviews. But I've also been showing it to lots of non-techies, and every BlackBerry owner I've shown it to gets downright excited about the PlayBook. There are millions of folks like these, and I am convinced RIM will sell more tablets than all tablet makers except Apple.

Last night I showed it to such a group, and every person who played with it liked it. There were plenty of comments about how nice the gadget is and how easy it is to use. Those comments were tame compared to the members of the group who currently own BlackBerry phones. These folks reacted like kids on Christmas morning, and got more excited the longer they played with the PlayBook.

The primary beef that reviewers have pointed out is the single best feature according to this group of BlackBerry owners. I'm referring to the lack of native email, calendaring, and contact apps on the PlayBook. That didn't concern this group in the least, and when I explained how the BlackBerry Bridge lets them work with those functions on the PlayBook while leaving the data on the phone, I wasn't prepared for the reaction I got. I actually heard squeals of delight from several BlackBerry owners.

RIM gets it. They understand how devoted the core group of BlackBerry owners is to its products, and they have aimed the PlayBook squarely at them. The BlackBerry is an integral part of these folks' lives, and the PlayBook takes that experience and makes it much better. As one BlackBerry owner told me, "this is a window into my BlackBerry, and that is wonderful!" She went on to exclaim she was going to buy one today. "Let my husband keep his beloved iPad, my PlayBook brings my BlackBerry front and center".

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Topics: Apple, BlackBerry, Hardware, Laptops, Mobile OS, Mobility, Tablets


James Kendrick has been using mobile devices since they weighed 30 pounds, and has been sharing his insights on mobile technology for almost that long. Prior to joining ZDNet, James was the Founding Editor of jkOnTheRun, a CNET Top 100 Tech Blog that was acquired by GigaOM in 2008 and is now part of that prestigious tech network. James' w... Full Bio

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