Tablet wars: RIM gets aggressive with Apple iPad comparisons

Tablet wars: RIM gets aggressive with Apple iPad comparisons

Summary: Research in Motion looks like a company that has a limited window to compete with Apple's iPad and wants to seize the day with its PlayBook. RIM's aggression vs. the iPad makes sense on many levels since it generates buzz even as its tablet remains largely a mystery.

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Research in Motion looks like a company that has a limited window to compete with Apple's iPad and wants to seize the day with its PlayBook. RIM's aggression vs. the iPad makes sense on many levels since it generates buzz even as its tablet remains largely a mystery.

Since the PlayBook was announced and later demonstrated, RIM has systematically released information in small chunks. For instance, RIM has said that the PlayBook will be competitive with Apple on price.

And on Tuesday, RIM released a comparison video between the PlayBook and iPad. We're not going to put a lot of stock in a company-orchestrated show-and-tell video, but RIM is showing a little aggression.

The moves make sense. At this juncture, the iPad really has the tablet field to itself. As noted earlier, the latest crop of Android tablets are disappointing. The hardware and software on the Android tablets lacks the iPad's integration and the pricing just isn't aggressive enough.

Why wouldn't RIM push hard to make the PlayBook a viable No. 2 to the iPad? After all, Android tablets have left the door wide open.

The rub here is that no one has played with RIM's tablet. All we have are videos released by RIM. It's all very controlled.The PlayBook could be demo-ware.

While the RIM PlayBook largely remains a mystery, the company seems to be playing the buzz game pretty well.

And here's video of the PlayBook launch:

Topics: BlackBerry, Apple, Hardware, iPad, Laptops, Mobility, Tablets

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31 comments
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  • The Playbook IS demoware

    And will be until sometime next year. Anyone looking at a calendar can figure out what's happening here. RIMM couldn't ship by Holiday 2010, so they're trying to freeze any BB users, or people who love them, from plopping down "hard earned" for an iPad. RIMM is promising them a product that [i]looks[/i] like it might be as good for about the same money, but the question is whether the Playbook [i]will be[/i] as good or better than the iPad [i]already is[/i]?
    matthew_maurice
    • Just curious...

      @matthew_maurice . . .Does anyone know for sure how much of the differences in the demo comparisons would be due simply to the significant difference in display size and/or total pixel count?<br><br>Don't we wonder if RIM will be able to ship Playbook version 1 before Apple ships iPad version 2--and what the comparisons will be then? <br><br>Don't we also wonder if Apple will ever use Flash in the iPad--or if something will supplant Flash with more user benefits?<br><br>Hey, the more the merrier, and the more competition, the more these companies will have to offer users, so WE win.
      frabjous
  • RE: Tablet wars: RIM gets aggressive with Apple iPad comparisons

    RIM=Epic Fail
    CowboyJake
  • RE: Tablet wars: RIM gets aggressive with Apple iPad comparisons

    Benn nearly 4 yrs since iPhone debuted; RIM's still trying to figure it out.
    renkluaf
    • RE: Tablet wars: RIM gets aggressive with Apple iPad comparisons

      @renkluaf - and RIM is still beating Apple - go figure...
      j28n
      • Well, Apple has been selling iPhones for what 3 to 4

        @j28n
        years now right? RIM has been selling BB for how long now? So yeah RIM has a shrinking lead but shrinking none the less.

        Pagan jim
        James Quinn
      • no

        @j28n
        rimm is not leading anymore. apple has just eclipsed rimm in unit sales. and has been in smartphone revenue for a while now.
        banned from zdnet
  • I also saw a demo of ..

    ... how people can grow gills and live underwater after the planet is destroyed by the ice caps melting due to global warming.

    My point: You can show anything on a demo prototype. (prototypes always come with disclaimers: "Shipping models might show different configurations and features" etc. For all we know the prototype has really sucky battery life)
    Get a working model into the hands of testers and run it against equivalent models i.e. a prototype Rim should be run against a prototype iPad Two.
    Davewrite
  • Regarding the embedded You Tube video

    @Larry Dignan

    Larry, I viewed the PlayBook and iPad comparison and was amazed at the rendering speed of the Playbook browser vs the iPad during the CBS.com website section.

    I verified the speed "slowness" of the iPad mobile browser but then I experimented with one particular setting.

    I disabled JavaScript in my iPad Settings (for Safari) and was amazed at the speed improvement in my iPad browser.

    Please try it to verify my results.
    Thanks,
    Mike
    kenosha77a
  • RE: Tablet wars: RIM gets aggressive with Apple iPad comparisons

    I like comparisons on products I can buy. Until the Playbook ships, this is useless. By the way, there will probably be a new iPad by then.
    computerchipt
  • Wow, this Playbook looks WAAAAY better than the iPad!!

    And I can tell that this has Apple scared because they've notched up the astro-turfing a level. Note that 100% of the replies above me are from well known Apple zealots!
    NonZealot
    • RE: Tablet wars: RIM gets aggressive with Apple iPad comparisons

      @NonZealot
      But the PlayBook won't play "Angry Birds" in HD!

      See Note Below:

      "Note: RIM's co-CEO Jim Balsillie at the Web 2.0 Summit today argued that there was "no need for native mobile apps." In referring to the company's PlayBook versus iPad demo video, the Canadian executive argued that "all you need is the web."

      I don't know about you, NZ, but I really like my downloaded apps for my iPod Touch and iPad. I'm sure you use apps as well on your iPhone 4.

      By the way, if you read my earlier post on this subject, the slowdown in the iPad web browser speed vs the PlayBook might be due to an Apple ARM and JavaScript issue.

      I just tested this issue again with my mobile Safari JavaScript option set to off and started the CBS website at the same time as the PlayBook CBS video section begins.

      The CBS website on my iPad was displayed just as fast as the Playbook displayed that CBS web page.

      With JavaScript enabled on my iPad, the CBS web page was rendered in a time very consistent with the PlayBook YouTube video segment.

      (my history, cache and cookie buffers were all reset or cleared prior to my little iPad experiment.)

      I don't know what this proves except perhaps that mobile Safari could improve its JavaScript ability.

      Now, to be fair, I just saw a video on Engadget showing the PlayBook in an impromptu demo. That seven inch tablet really looked good. See link below.
      http://www.engadget.com/2010/11/16/blackberry-playbook-first-hands-on-video/
      kenosha77a
    • Yep, you're dead right

      @NonZealot .. i believe the PlayBook will make big strides in the enterprise space once released next year.

      This tussle is about to get interesting.
      thx-1138_
  • The biggest point these vids make is SIZE MATTERS

    Apparently no one thinks it matters, because small is better right.
    Well not when it's the 9" Ipad vs. the dwarfish looking 7" Rim. With anything more than a few images, everything becomes too small to use. Does anyone really want to spend half their time up sizing, downsizing, moving shifting images so they can use them?
    Supposedly their reason is it's a business product, but how does being so much smaller make a more productive tool?
    Worst of all, it just looks like an undersized Ipad. It does not look like a competing product.
    Which means when someone goes to buy it, initially it will seem like an much smaller Ipad being sold at the same price.
    Of course a serious shopper will discover the obvious, but considering the competitive nature of this market, initially setting this as an objection the consumer has to learn is not, was a stupid choice.
    Just how stupid is their effort to explain what they know are the shortcomings in this regard with preemptive videos - Not a good sign at all.
    Oh and I own NO Apple products whatsoever.
    JonathanSeer
    • RE: Tablet wars: RIM gets aggressive with Apple iPad comparisons

      @JonathanSeer
      Very good point and I agree completely. I see so many people saying the iPad is too big but that is like comparing a high school or college textbook to a paperback novel. Of course the textbook is big and heavy but no one would choose the paperback because it is just too small to view text and images. Of course with a small tablet you can enlarge sections but that takes time and gets tiresome.
      rfoto
    • Oh, but on the other hand...

      @JonathanSeer ...if Apple went on to announce a 7-inch iPad "mini" or something on top of that Beatles on iTunes gig, I'm sure you'd go around squeaking and hopping like a bimbo cheerleader on meth. That amount of hypocrisy just hurts, you know?
      Stormbringer_57th
      • RE: Tablet wars: RIM gets aggressive with Apple iPad comparisons

        @Stormbringer_57th: Thanks for bringing a touch of intelligence to this discussion. Since he owns no Apple products, why would he be biased in their favor?<br><br>And since I actually got this posted, I gotta ask: How come I can try to post a reply and it just disappears into space? And if I try to repost, I get an error saying the second try is a duplicate so I can't send it? And then someone like StanislavF below gets duplicate messages posted? Is this a site created by tech people or not? Just wondering... At least I got this message up. And when I come back to check, StanislavF is down to one message, the duplicate is gone. Is the problem the browser? Was his duplicate removed? Beats me.
        levinson
      • RE: Tablet wars: RIM gets aggressive with Apple iPad comparisons

        @Stormbringer_57th You could be right, but if Apple announced an iPad mini, it would likely be about half the price of the playbook, based on what we've seen so far- in other words, Playbook is comparably priced (if it ever gets released) to iPad, but is smaller.
        Don't get me wrong, I think it looks great- I like Apple stuff, but I'm by no means locked to it. If someone comes up with something better, I'm all for checking it out. (Even thinking of ditching my iPhone for an Android device) But, before anyone can check these things out, they have to be AVAILABLE!
        IMHO
        www.dfwsupergeek.com
        unclefixer@...
    • RE: Tablet wars: RIM gets aggressive with Apple iPad comparisons

      @JonathanSeer
      I agree...size does matter. Like you (JonathanSeer) I own no Apple products. However, what makes the iPad appealing IS its size. Shrink it down too much and you might as well get an iPhone, or similar device. Apple is good at making various compromises to fit a target audience. Many of us are not that target audience, but for that audience, they make things that "just work" and "are cool looking" and do the the subset of things that are important to that audience. I am not part of that audience as I like to tinker and modify and run things that are not made to run on a device...but I see the appeal.

      RIM should decide on a target audience, but that target audience they focus on should potentially NOT be the same as an iPad. The comparisons should be to differentiate at that level...not so much say "we are better than the iPad at what iPad excels at...but we are DIFFERENT than the iPad and here is why you might prefer us to them..."
      StanislavF
      • RE: Tablet wars: RIM gets aggressive with Apple iPad comparisons

        @StanislavF Well put- RIM could have a great market with the Playbook if they were to focus on a niche market of their own, like they did with Blackberry.
        www.dfwsupergeek.com
        unclefixer@...