BlackBerry PlayBook; a good reason to buy a BlackBerry smartphone

The BlackBerry PlayBook is a fun device with a slick user interface and powerful operating system. It is made better with a BB smartphone so I now want RIM to release their new 6.1 models.

I posted my RIM BlackBerry PlayBook first impressions video yesterday and have been using the device extensively since then. I am so impressed with the hardware and potential of the QNX-based Tablet OS that I started looking for my own BlackBerry smartphone (I am using a loaner for a while as I test out my PlayBook and write Wiley's BlackBerry PlayBook Companion book) and am disappointed that RIM did not launch any new devices prior to the PlayBook launch. CrackBerry has a post on the upcoming 2011 lineup and I have my eye on the BlackBerry Bold Touch that I think would be a perfect PlayBook companion.

As mentioned by Kevin and the gang on CrackBerry podcast 067 it would have made more sense to launch the new BlackBerry 6.1 devices first and then follow up with the QNX-based PlayBook so people would then get a glimpse of the future OS that will eventually be coming to their smartphone line. As it is now, people get a glimpse of QNX and then will have to purchase smartphones with the "older" operating system and it may be seen as a slight step backwards. At this time, I think the existing BB OS for smartphones is fine when paired with a PlayBook so it may be more of a perception issue RIM has to overcome than a major concern.

James wrote a post about why he thinks RIM will sell quite a few PlayBooks and I agree with his reasoning about it being attractive to BlackBerry owners. I also think companies that issue BlackBerry smartphones (like Boeing here in Washington State) will love the security aspects of the PlayBook and may embrace them as well.

Today, we here that RIM may have sold up to 50,000 PlayBooks already, which is more than the Xoom and Samsung Galaxy Tab sold at launch and we haven't even hit the weekend yet. There are people in my office that had no idea that the PlayBook launched since the weekend store ads haven't appeared yet and there has not been any real marketing of the product.

There was one software update as I unpacked and setup my PlayBook and today another appeared. The one today was MAJOR for me as it added in the GPS functionality to make Bing Maps and Poynt actually useful applications. There are still many missing applications, but I have confidence that RIM is working hard to get apps out on the device.

I loaded up a couple of movies and lots of music and am VERY impressed with the speaker quality and beautiful display of the PlayBook that makes it a very good media device. I just need to find a case that props it up for watching movies on the airplane.

It's pretty funny that I am thinking of a BB smartphone to go with a PlayBook rather than looking at the PlayBook as a companion to an existing smartphone and I imagine I am in the minority here.