UPDATE: BlackBerry PlayBook woes; update pulled/relaunched and product manager moves to Samsung

It seems people are having issues competing with the iPad and it doesn't help that buggy firmware updates are released and an executive in charge of of the product leaves either.
Written by Matthew Miller, Contributing Writer

I bought a BlackBerry PlayBook back in April when they launched and since then we have seen at least one update a month. There was a 1.07 update (July update) that went live early on Tuesday morning, but CrackBerry.com reported that it has been pulled back down and is no longer available. We also heard that the PlayBook senior product manager left for Samsung and it seems to be a frustrating time for PlayBook owners.

I did not bring my PlayBook with me today so I could not update it and when I arrived home my device showed that no updates were available. I understand that people who did perform the update had problems with the BlackBerry Bridge functionality, but since I just sent back the evaluation BlackBerry smartphone I would not have noticed this anyway.

RIM really needs to deliver the stand alone PIM apps and Android support soon or I may be giving up on my PlayBook too. I like the form factor, the web browser is awesome, the Kobo eReader is decent, and there is lots of potential with the device. However, something can have all the potential in the world and still fail without direction or continued support.

It is not very comforting when the BlackBerry Senior Product Manager leaves to take a position as the Director of Product Marketing at Samsung Mobile either. I don't know if Mr. Bidan was the company champion of the PlayBook and drove things or if he was a reason for delays in getting the PIM apps out, but the message coming from RIM is not that encouraging.

Now that HP is delivering on some of its upgrade promises (Kindle app and Media Store launches) I may have to reconsider the HP TouchPad instead of the PlayBook or just forget both and stick with my iPad and HTC Flyer. Does the news of the pulled software update and executive departure discourage your PlayBook plans?

UPDATE: So today when I returned home I tried getting my PlayBook updated again. Thankfully, the update is back and you can now update your PlayBook to version The update is a whopping 356MB and there doesn't appear to be many noticeable changes. I understand people on AT&T who have a BlackBerrry smartphone are seeing some improvements in performance, but unfortunately, this is NOT the update that gives you stand alone email, PIM, or Android apps. Given RIM's monthly updates I guess we will have to wait until August to see if this gives us things they should have launched with back in April.

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