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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