RIM's PlayBook has some problematic timing

RIM's PlayBook has some problematic timing

Summary: Research in Motion's PlayBook is far from being ready for primetime, but the biggest problem for the tablet will be timing. The PlayBook will compete with iPad 2 and next-gen Android tablets.


Research in Motion's PlayBook is far from being ready for primetime, but the biggest problem for the tablet will be timing.

RIM's developer powwow on Wednesday illustrated a lot of shortcomings. Developer kits will arrive in January and February and BlackBerry's apps aren't likely to be readily available at launch. In the early going the PlayBook is all about Adobe AIR, which leaves its Java-oriented developers on the outside. And then there's the fact that you'll need a BlackBerry to tether to the PlayBook to get enterprise email. Should you really have to connect a BlackBerry to a PlayBook?

Toss in the reality that the PlayBook is largely demoware and you have more than a few issues to ponder.

But the real reason to fret about the PlayBook's prospects boils down to timing. The PlayBook is likely to be available just as the second generation iPad hits the market along with more Android tablets, which will feature the latest mobile operating system from Google.

Simply put, the PlayBook is launching into fierce competition and there are enough question marks about the tablet to fall on the pessimistic side.

Sure, there are interesting demos to watch. But these demos are seriously canned. Boy Genius Report shows off one. If you were one of the developers to grab the PlayBook it wasn't like you could click on any random icon.

If the PlayBook could hit the market earlier it would garner more developer interest and perhaps find a more receptive audience. For now there are way too many parts that need to fall into place.


Topics: Laptops, Hardware, Mobility, BlackBerry, Software Development, Tablets

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  • RE: RIM's PlayBook has some problematic timing

    RIM is no longer and innovator and their products of late don't compare favorably to the best Android or Apple have to offer.
    • RE: RIM's PlayBook has some problematic timing

      The device looks like it will be fine. Their innovation may be to integrate this with business applications. This stuff isn't that hard. I wouldn't write off RIM based on playbook. It looks like a solid effort.
      Schoolboy Bob
    • Thank God you're wrong ...

      @Diver01 Thank God you guys who write off products based on speculation (guesswork) are so often wrong. If the fanboys were right, and the only company capable of producing a successful product was Apple, or MS, or Google, it would mean the end of innovative engineering in North America and we wouldn't be able to compete in sophisticated product development with the Asians (for instance).
      All we can really say about this 'pad is that the hardware and OS are spec'd to be much more powerful than the current crop of giant cellphones running Android or iOS.
      This should tell us that this device is not aimed at the "Angry Birds" consumer market. We know from experience that we'll see many innovative products over the next several years, from many different players - even more than we saw with PC development, which was choked by MS's unique position as a market "bully".
      So don't be too quick to write off anybody's offering based on market rumors. We should applaud all such innovation from NA companies - they are what keeps us in the game.
  • RE: RIM's PlayBook has some problematic timing

    A few thoughts on the demo.
    I really liked the way you could switch from one app to the next on the Playbook. In fact I find it more elegant than the iPad's (iOS's) double-click on the home button method.
    If this device is being sold for its "productivity" features,then why not demo a few "productivity" apps?
    The demo lacked an internet connection? Why would you want to demo this "mobile" device without it being connected to the "internet"?
    • RE: RIM's PlayBook has some problematic timing

      @MG537 There's no functional browser may be the biggest reason
      Larry Dignan
      • RE: RIM's PlayBook has some problematic timing

        @Larry Dignan
        Then my answer would be......Oooops!
  • RE: RIM's PlayBook has some problematic timing

    This thing won't need 250K apps because it runs the Internet... it'll have a bunch of apps on day 1 due to Blackberry giving away a free playbook to every app in the app store before launch. I haven't developed code for 20 years and they've got me developing an app. I can tell you from the developer community that this thing has legs. The capabilities it has will make the Apple Apps seem like games.

    Yes, it's too bad that they likely won't have native SDK's on POSIX much before launch but by putting AIR first, they've pretty much guaranteed that this platform will have some very rich applications on Day 1. Frankly, this thing is intended for enterprises and they don't give a crap whether or not it has a fart app. As for email... you can get email through the internet as you can with any other browser so your comment about needing a BB is only for BES access and frankly anyone who has BES already has a BlackBerry.
  • RE: RIM's PlayBook has some problematic timing

    RIM must be barking mad

    Launch issues
    - New QNX O/S, not compatable with Blackberry O-S
    - WiFi or Blackberry Tethering only at launch
    - Half arsed dev environment to further alienate people
    - It is not an iPAD, or Android device, where all the action is

    Even the one-arm tied behind it's back Dell Streak has a better chance than this....
    • RE: RIM's PlayBook has some problematic timing

      @neilpost Agreed but I guess they are not looking at the consumer market at all with these devices. They are going to try to convince CIOs to buy them for the enterprise. I don't think this is going to fly especially if the device needs to be connected to another Blackberry (did I read that right??).

      I don't understand why they don't just put Android on this hardware and then put their development efforts into building an enterprise security layer on top for BES. By doing that, they would also be attractive to non-business users like their smartphones have been.
  • RE: RIM's PlayBook has some problematic timing

    P.S. You would be surprised 'in the enterprise' how many Exec mambers and their sycophants like the iPad, and also many a CIO who should know better.
  • RE: RIM's PlayBook has some problematic timing

    Interface is all that matters. iOS got smoothness, Android got customize-ability (without the smoothness), Palm OS got good social integration, what is the killer feature Playbook have? Don't tell me is the hardware!
  • To commenters

    Could you please indicate if you are consumers or enterprise admins - specifically BES Admins. I am the latter, and we will definitely wait for Playbook before deciding on a tablet strategy. If it integrates well with the RIM solution including policies, remote wipe etc., having Angry Birds on day one is going to seem less important.
  • RE: RIM's PlayBook has some problematic timing

    Talk about a day late and a dollar short. It's not that Apple's business model is secret yet RIM and others keep thinking it's about the hardware, it's about the carrier, it's about this or that when Apple sits there like Jabba the Hut gobbling up market share because they know it's about 'the experience'. And I'm not referring to any geeky experience, which seems hardware dependent (my <insert geek item> is bigger than your <insert geek item>) go to 10.
    No, Apple has left the Woz's of the world in the dust. Apple is a 'consumer' electronics company. The market share breakdown would be 1% geek, 10% enterprise, and 89% consumer. Jobs knows where the money is and how to get it: provide a good product that leads to purchasing other Apple products (App Store, iTunes) and the best customer service in any industry. Cheap at half the price.
    RIM? Much like the article on Blockbuster, just another flailing dinosaur trying to discover the golden goose again.
    • RE: RIM's PlayBook has some problematic timing

      @dheady@... People call RIM late, but what would you say about the iPhone? There were lots of phones on the market and Apple was no where to be found. Then bam. Being late into the market means little if you come up with a product that's revolutionary or so amazing people want it instead of what's out there. The Playbook may not be this device, but the era of useful tablets is just beginning. Skip ahead 5 years and for all we know some other company with holographic UI's or whatever could be leaving every name we know in the dust.
  • RE: RIM's PlayBook has some problematic timing

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