Why RIM will sell more tablets than everybody except Apple

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.

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

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  • RE: Why RIM will sell more tablets than everybody except Apple

    James,

    I am sure that you will receive all sorts of complaints for this post. However, I think that you are correct, but only half so.

    RIM will sell lots of tablets for two reasons. First, as you mentioned, BlackBerry users like their phones, and this is a great assistant to the phone.

    But, possibly more importantly, IT departments like BlackBerry devices for the extra security they provide. This is actually the genius in RIM's decision to not include stand-alone mail, calendar, or contacts applications, as well as not providing a 3G/4G modem initially. By linking to a BlackBerry device, the security of the data is not reduced or minimized. Further, if the tablet is lost or stolen, data is not at risk (or at least at significantly less risk).

    Just as most large corporations have not been moving the iPhone or Android OS phones out of "testing", iOS and Android tablets have an uphill battle to get mainstream corporate adoption. By designing the Playbook in the way that they have, RIM has encouraged all IT departments to satisfy their clients desire for tablets with a device that can easily meet security requirements (plus it is from a name that is already trusted).

    Yes, RIM will sell a ton of Playbooks, even if they never get significant consumer adoption. Corporations will buy these quickly.
    jglopic
    • To be fair, at least iPhones/iPads do well in the enterprise:

      @jglopic: ... more than 50% of Fortune 100 already deployed these devices, and almost another 30% in testing/probing mode.<br><br>But yes, RIM has good chances (after they will fix this mess of PlayBook to not get "<b>A useless, unfathomable train wreck</b>" characteristrics like from today's detailed Infoworld review). While some companies move to iPhone/iPad, most of RIM customers are conservative and they will adopt the tablet quite well.<br><br>But, again, not before the tablet/ecosystem will be fixed.
      DDERSSS
      • RE: Why RIM will sell more tablets than everybody except Apple

        @denisrs <br><br>I really wish people wouldn't take Apple's marketing as gospel. Where is the data. "deploying" could be 1 iPad to the CEO and no other plans. Maybe even a handful for the senior staff. Deploying to me is corporate procured and available to all employees to leverage. You can count on your hands the amount of companies doing that. The ones that have adoption are ones that are allowing personal liable (BYOT). That is what we did - you want an iOS device .. go buy it yourself. Our standard is still Blackberry and after examining everything it is still has the best ROI / TCO.<br><br>Apple's biggest hurdles for true enterprise adoption? <br><br>- Drop iTunes or make it cloud bases<br>- Provide corporate billing / Corporate App management
        MobileAdmin
      • Not that bad

        @MobileAdmin:

        For example, see Medtronic deployment: $16 billion turn-over company, thousands of iPads:
        http://www.apple.com/ipad/business/profiles/medtronic/

        They wrote fifteen applications (for basically every possible function -- from CEO to simpler workers) for iPad and started their own internal AppStore with it.

        Applications are set-up wirelessly, so there is no problem with iTunes. And, as you see, corporate applications management works well with very customized settings.
        DDERSSS
      • RE: Why RIM will sell more tablets than everybody except Apple

        @denisrs

        You miss my point. Anyone can deploy iPad/iPhone and lock it down / limit it to spefic usage. We actually tried that last year using the iPhone config utility and locked down AppStore, sideloaded the Apps we created.

        Feedback was scathing how we limited the device. Employees have a mindset with mobility that it is theirs to use as they wish. For years corporations have allowed some flexibilty for personal usage of corporate assest but it's not out of control. Thus for those employees who want both uses we push them to our BYOT program and they can buy it. BYOT is not the same as corporate deployed / liable.
        MobileAdmin
      • Apple in the enterprise doesn't really exist

        @denisrs "more than 50% of Fortune 100 already deployed these devices, and almost another 30% in testing/probing mode"

        Read between the lines - that means 50 of the biggest 100 have an iphone or ipad. It doesn't mean much. They aren't corporate tools - not with the app store, itunes, etc. We need the locked down email that isn't there.

        I like RIM's strategy. Their stuff usually works.
        Schoolboy Bob
      • You need o take a closer look...

        @denisrs
        Yes they are being looked at by 'the enterprise' and I do see some benefits. BUT, and it's a big BUT... Many such use secure apps like GOOD tech for email etc.

        This is like running another OS... you have two factions in one device and neither can be used simultaneously. You want mail you enter your complex password... You want to play music then you need to enter your complex password to get mail again. And how do I watch a film that someone hands me on an SD card? You think it's OK to go home, add it to itunes then synch it??? Dream on... that alone will make me look to other devices.

        I have little patience and gave my ipad back after a day. Devotees will last longer but anyone thinking its accepted in 'the enterprise' like selecting the app store or ipod functions is either dreaming, smoking pot, or simply has no idea of what they're talking about.

        ps For the same reasons my iphone is simless and sits in my bag. BB Torch for work... absolutely!
        johnmckay
      • RE: Why RIM will sell more tablets than everybody except Apple

        @denisrs

        Re: For example, see Medtronic deployment: $16 billion turn-over company, thousands of iPads:
        http://www.apple.com/ipad/business/profiles/medtronic/

        I can't be bothered looking but lets be clear. Once you do your own app store and your aown apps (as my company has) you then have a closed shop and its no longer what most folk know as an ipad. It looks like an ipad, operates like an ipad but your company stuff is overbearing. I suggest you go look at some of these devices, use it, then get back to us. It's very unlikely to look and operate with the same flow as your standard ipad. Our version is so locked, secured, monitored that its a complete pain... I wouldnt use it.
        johnmckay
      • RE: Why RIM will sell more tablets than everybody except Apple

        @MobileAdmin [i]You miss my point.[/i]
        I think I got your point. Doesn't matter what is actually happening out there Apple's deployment will never fit your "idea" of what deploying is. Based on your words unless it is available to every employee it's not a real deployment. I wonder if there is any device out there that is deployed to your standards period.
        non-biased
      • RE: Why RIM will sell more tablets than everybody except Apple

        @GetReal-mac.dumb <i> And how do I watch a film that someone hands me on an SD card?</i><br>Really, all this talk about security and you jump to the SD card, that's pretty funny. The statement in concept is pretty funny too. I have produced a lot of TV and corporate videos and never, not even once, has somebody handed me a video to watch on an SD card. Of course I bet it has never happened to you but without that statement how could you work in the fact the iPhone/iPad don't have a slot.

        And then there is this comment in your next post...
        [i]I can't be bothered looking but lets be clear.[/i]
        Why didn't you save time on that complete post by just saying that you don't let facts get in your way if they don't back up your hatred. Simple, direct, to the point and obviously true.
        non-biased
    • RE: Why RIM will sell more tablets than everybody except Apple

      @jglopic <br><br>I have PC laptops, BlackBerry phone, and an iPad. Although this article covers the BlackBerry, Android, and iOS, I believe you've missed what may become the real contender to the iPad: the (full OS) Windows-based tablet, such as the HP Slate. No apps to locate and download, nothing to cobble together to make it work. I have posted a review/comparison of the iPad with the HP Slate 500.<br><a href="http://trial-technology.blogspot.com/2011/04/has-ipad-met-its-match-maybe-not-yet.html" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><a href="http://trial-technology.blogspot.com/2011/04/has-ipad-met-its-match-maybe-not-yet.html" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://trial-technology.blogspot.com/2011/04/has-ipad-met-its-match-maybe-not-yet.html</a></a>
      litigationtech
      • RE: Why RIM will sell more tablets than everybody except Apple

        @litigationtech Full Windows tablets have a few major disadvantages. Sure, the win is Windows -- presumably what's on your desktop or laptop. This means a known quantity, familiar apps, etc.

        But then you look a little deeper. Windows itself is questionable on a tablet, existing applications simply do not work via a touch interface... you need a stylus style touchscreen. Then there's the fact that, to deliver a tablet even slightly competitive with the iPad or a good Android tablet, on price, weight, and battery life, you're stuck with sub-netbook class performance. And you still don't see 8-12 hours of operation. Applications drag due to worst-in-class performance (for a Windows machine), and just how many Windows apps can you fit in 16-32GB of flash.

        The alternative is a full notebook in tablet form. But these have been available for over a decade, and somehow, people think Apple invented the tablet.
        Hazydave
      • RE: Why RIM will sell more tablets than everybody except Apple

        @litigationtech Have Playbook, Android, iPad, and Windows 7 tablets. When I want to be business oriented, the Windows 7 tablet is my first choice. Currently using 32GB Acer W500 which costs the same as a 32GB iPad. The W500 includes a keyboard dock at that price.<br><br>The W500 comes with the 125% element size on by default, and using the included standard Windows applet, I increase the scroll bar width, menus, and close box to sizes comfortable for my finger size. The UI is smooth, and menu / close box selections are very finger friendly since I increased the sizes. 99% of my third party apps use the increased UI element sizes as well so they are very finger friendly. There are numerous skins / themes available if you want to spruce up the appearance as well.<br><br>In addition to using you favorite desktop apps with no conversions, full screen Hulu plays fine since IE is not blocked.<br><br>Microsoft should advertise the built-in app for increasing just about all UI element sizes since it turns Windows 7 into a very finger friendly OS with a plethora of business applications. I am perplexed as to why the tech site reviews constantly state Windows based tablets are finger hostile when every Windows machine includes the applet to customize just about every element to your finger size.<br><br>The Playbook is very slick / smooth, but I am not a Blackberry owner before the Playbook so I miss email / PIM apps.
        gadgetlover
    • RE: Why RIM will sell more tablets than everybody except Apple

      @jglopic The only real security Blackberries provide is for IT departments' staff jobs. Whole countries are currently banning them on security grounds.

      There appears to be a willing conspiracy of ignorance and complacency surrounding this company, its devices, its device's deployment and its users.

      And when you watch COO Lazaridis, hear what he says, doesn't say and indeed refuses to comment on, then look at the 4 years his company has taken to react to the real smartphone revolution, one has to wonder why the hell he's still got a job. The rot often sets in from the top and RIM is no exception.
      Graham Ellison
      • RE: Why RIM will sell more tablets than everybody except Apple

        @Graham Ellison ...but the countries banning them are doing so because RIM won't cripple their security to allow government access to private data.
        But you're right of course - all those dumb fortune 500 companies getting sued in - they should hire some security experts.
        radleym
      • RE: Why RIM will sell more tablets than everybody except Apple

        @Graham Ellison
        They get banned because the government in those countries want to look at the data that Blackberrys are sending receiving. In other words, they're so good at being secure that intelligence agencies can't break them so they try to ban RIM on security grounds.

        If intelligence agencies can't break these, then they are the best thing invented since cryptography from a businesses point of view. It means that no-one is going to drop an app onto your phone and sniff your emails, or text you a .exe file which will take over your phone and send out all your contact information. It means that a business memo is about as secure as you can make it. Not really a conspiracy. Now, if you want complacency, users, devices, ignorance and plain stupid, take a gander at Apple. You'll love it.

        Note: Start with "sms exe vulnerability" or "SSL capability".
        They're older problems of course, I've heard the iPhone 4 has SSL and they patched the exe vuln within a whole two weeks. But it gives you an idea of Apples security.
        Cyberjester
    • One Year Later...

      It would be cool to see everyone who posted here come back and revisit their positions. I've been using personal computers since 1983 and it's been fun watching the landscape change so much and so often. Opinions seem to change just as quickly.
      Mark Lechman
  • RE: Why RIM will sell more tablets than everybody except Apple

    I believe most people is comparing apples with pears; I understand the model that BlackBerry is trying to follow with its PlayBook, but that doesn't mean they are on the right path. Let me explain myself.

    I like the part "this is a window into my BlackBerry, and that is wonderful!", so I'll go from there.

    This would mean:

    * This is a device designed for BlackBerry users only (or mainly)
    * BlackBerry market is shrinking. Less BlackBerry users, Less BlackBerry Playbook' users.
    * It's common to see BlackBerry users carrying multiple batteries; so, no BlackBerry battery, no play for your Playbook (at least no internet, email, contacts and...)

    So the playbook would be more like an accessory for your blackberry instead of a product by itself. Then, somebody at marketing got it wrong.

    That's, of course, in my humble opinion.

    Jorge Avila
    @jorgeavilam
    Avila
    • RE: Why RIM will sell more tablets than everybody except Apple

      @Avila : is the blackberry market shrinking or their share of the market? There's a lot more people using blackberrys now than there was 3 years ago so i guess they are making enough. It was a bit like Apple in the desktop market, they had a real small share of it but they were making plenty of profit.
      deaf_e_kate
      • RE: Why RIM will sell more tablets than everybody except Apple

        @deaf_e_kate talking about US smartphone subscribers... Shrinking... I think the point is not if they do money or not, they will definitely will be doing money for some more years; I believe it's more about how RIM is losing market and still taking wrong decisions.

        http://www.comscore.com/Press_Events/Press_Releases/2011/3/comScore_Reports_January_2011_U.S._Mobile_Subscriber_Market_Share
        Avila