RIM's Balsillie predicts 'highly successful' PlayBook launch, expands app ecosystem

RIM's Balsillie predicts 'highly successful' PlayBook launch, expands app ecosystem

Summary: Research in Motion co-CEO Jim Balsillie said preorders for the PlayBook and early indications from partners point to "a highly successful launch" for the PlayBook.

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Research in Motion co-CEO Jim Balsillie said preorders for the PlayBook and early indications from partners point to "a highly successful launch" for the PlayBook.

Balsillie made the comments about the PlayBook, which launches April 19, as he defended the company's weak outlook for the first quarter. The main takeaway: RIM is in a transition period to the PlayBook and new QNX-based BlackBerries.

The PlayBook "will be the most significant development for RIM since the launch of the first BlackBerry," said Balsillie on a conference call with analysts. However, Balsillie declined to provide unit projections for the PlayBook.

That said, Balsillie expects the PlayBook to drive a halo effect for other RIM products. For RIM, the PlayBook represents "the birth of a new future proof architecture" based on the QNX operating system.

Balsillie also played the enterprise card and noted that CIOs have delayed deployments of tablets to evaluate the PlayBook. He cited companies like Manulife and Royal Bank of Scotland as outfits evaluating the PlayBook. "A good portion of Fortune 500 will receive PlayBooks for review," said Balsillie.

In the meantime, RIM is focusing on making the PlayBook app friendly. Balsillie said that the PlayBook will support Android as well as RIM's Java-based applications. RIM announced the following:

  • RIM will launch to optional app players for Java and Android for the PlayBook.
  • Native C/C++ development support added.
  • Two game engines supported.
  • PlayBook will work with 25,000 BlackBerry apps and 200,000 Android apps.
  • A native SDK for the PlayBook is coming shortly.

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

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18 comments
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  • RE: RIM's Balsillie predicts 'highly successful' PlayBook launch, expands app ecosystem

    About as successful as his ownership of an NHL club....
    kitko
    • Don't count your 'halo effects'

      @kitko .. until they're hatched.
      HollywoodDog
  • I would buy one, if...

    If they worked with microsoft to intergrated it with WP7, where you could tether for internet. Send links etc back and forth (this should be a standard api to tell you the truth for any phone-tablet)

    Also the other condition is .net support not through webservices.
    x21x
    • I love WP7 in PlayBook

      @x21x I totally agree with. They might do it once MS allows that. Not just RIM, lot of PC manufacturers will do that once MS allows Tablet ver of Win 8/WP8 this / next year.
      jinishans
  • RE: RIM's Balsillie predicts 'highly successful' PlayBook launch, expands app ecosystem

    It looks to be fast as hell, using the Android Compatiblity and the 7" form factor tells me this is going to be one Tablet that is tough to beat!
    slickjim
    • RE: RIM's Balsillie predicts 'highly successful' PlayBook launch, expands app ecosystem

      @Peter Perry Looks like utter "roadkill".

      Wrong size, let's face it, those 7" Android Tablets didn't exactly set the world on fire did they?

      Confused software, No native email app: WTF?! Android compatibility layer, with poor performance (they say it isn't fast enough for games because it is in a VM), and only compatibility with non-Tablet apps.

      Late to market.

      Few native apps.

      As I say, "Roadkill", this thing is going to get caught between iOS and Android and not compete with either. You want high polish, high performance apps - iOS. You want a more desktop like experience - Android. Now why would you want RIM?
      jeremychappell
  • RE: RIM's Balsillie predicts 'highly successful' PlayBook launch, expands app ecosystem

    Had a demo of the unit today with one of the "beta", locked up 4 times had to be power cycled, interface was clunky, no bes support "yet" and if you want a native voip client such as Cisco not yet still MVS and the expensive license.

    Also no Native email client yet... Still has to be paired with a BB device.

    They still need to do some work before launch in my opinion, it has potential but other tablet devices have more market maturity
    bubbagump2012
    • Sounds like Honeycomb

      @bubbagump2012

      At CES it was pretty solid (The Xoom crashed every 5 minutes) but it was not graceful when it ran out of memory.
      Bruizer
      • At CES ??? You just described any local BestBuy

        @Bruizer nt
        wackoae
      • RE: RIM's Balsillie predicts 'highly successful' PlayBook launch, expands app ecosystem

        @Bruizer Every 5 minutes huh? Funny, mine has been running all day without it crashing!
        slickjim
      • CES with Blackberry.

        The Playbook was pretty solid back in Jan but the Xoom crashed over and over at the display booths.

        The Playbook seemed to have issues once you got too many things going at once and did not manage resource shut down well.
        Bruizer
      • @Peter Perry

        I was using a BB Xoom yesterday and it froze up for over a minute after trying to navigate the thing after about 10 minutes of use. It finally came back. Really odd.

        The entire thing felt very Alpha quality to it. Angry Birds stuttered frequently going from a smooth 60 fps to 10 fps for a second or two and then fast again. It did look nice. Tried rebooting the thing and it worked better for awhile and then started getting jumpy on the UI again.

        The browser was decent but Flash (BB had updated it) elements did not scroll with the rest of the screen and seemed to lag the rest of the screen by 100-200 ms or so. Most Flash video played pretty well, however. The lack of coherent scrolling on Flash elements made a huge lack of quality feel on the browser. The Tabs took up way too much screen space and should be nixed.

        I can see why Google is afraid to release the source code. It is still very half baked. Good to know they got some people willing to pay to be Beta Testers.
        Bruizer
  • Lots of BB developers got thrown under the bus.

    An Eco-system that makes more money for developers than the Android Eco-system and RIM just killed it.
    Bruizer
    • RE: RIM's Balsillie predicts 'highly successful' PlayBook launch, expands app ecosystem

      @Bruizer Didn't you hear? Android is now number 1 for App purchasers... Guess that is hard to swallow huh?
      slickjim
      • And still only makes less than 5% of the revenu.

        @Peter Perry

        Android is even behind Nokia's Ovi store for Pete's sake on Application purchases.

        That must drive you batty. Beyond belief.

        Funny that Android users do little but lie.
        Bruizer
  • This is good for Android Java devs!

    My understanding is BlackBerry Java will be just for backward compatibility (OS 5/6.0 or may be lower version apps will be supported?). Next generation Java apps will be based on Android API signed by RIM.<br><br>I'm also hearing news that BlackBerry OS 7 will be based on QNX!<br><br>In a way this is good news for Android Java developers! BlackBerry Java, WebWorks, AIR APIs can Rest in Comma or Peace! Android API will take over from here.
    xTalk
  • Tough to sell to enterprise

    If RIM continue to pitch this at enterprise, it'll be a hard sell. Many will prefer a win7 tablet or laptop. The problem is a laptop is pretty much the perfect device for the road warrior.

    Apple have shown the only way to sell a tablet is as an in-between entertainment device.
    The Star King
  • Here's a prediction....

    Although I think Playbook could do well, if it doesn't come out strong and stay strong then don't be surprised to see Balsillie get dumped as CEO. Too many [near] flops of late. They haven't had a real sales leader in smartphones since the Bold 9700. Subsequent smartphones haven't done well. Some have little features or innovation.
    Gis Bun