Sunday, October 17, 2010

I'm looking forward to the new BlackBerry PlayBook tablet

Update: October 24.  The PlayBook was spied at a recent Gartner conference.

I'm eagerly anticipating the new RIM BlackBerry PlayBook tablet.  Here's why:

  • Apple iPad gets most of the tablet attention in the media and rightly so - it's a great device.  However, for business use the iPad has a number of key limitations.  Security, specifically malware and FIPS encryption, are the biggest inhibitors to enterprise use.
  • While Google Android tablets show promise, there are are few products in the marketplace from major hardware vendors and Android 3.0, specifically designed for tablets, has not yet been released. 
  • HP WebOS (Palm) and Windows 7 tablets have been announced but there are few specifics on what will be shipping when and at what price from major hardware vendors.    
  • The BlackBerry Playbook promises true multitasking, support for Adobe Flash and not one but two cameras in an enterprise-grade package that supports both wi-fi and tethering to a Blackberry for 3G service.
RIM has a window of opportunity to leapfrog the competition with the PlayBook if they can deliver quickly and at the right price.  In my mind, the right price is to undercut the Apple 3G 16GB ($499 USD)


3 comments:

Mannu said...

I'm not sure Chris.

1- It's a complete new OS. While nothing wrong with that, I wonder how mature it will be. See Windows Phone 7, it iss developed by a Software company and is still lacking. RIM is not a software company. So we will see.

2- We never saw the device. I watched the announcement from RIM, you never see a tablet actually plugged in and working. I wonder how ready it is and what kind of experience we can expect from it.

3- Flash is still slugish on every mobile device that supports it. Once its running, scrolling gets crazy at its best. I don't think we will see something different.

4- Apple has a great economy of scale. Other iPhone/iPad/Apple TV all share components. I don't expect the PlayBook to beat the iPad in price (nobody else has, Samsung Galaxy Tab: 599, HP Slate: 799)

5- Last mile. Where is the PlayBook going to be sold at? Target? Since they don't have a 3g version, only a tethered version, I'm not sure AT&T/Verizon/Carriers in general are going to be willing to promo/sell it.

6- BlackBerry Torch leads me to believe RIM still doesn't get it.

I could be completely wrong, and I'm willing to be wrong, but right now I don't have high expectations because of those items.

Regards!

ChrisPepin said...

Thanks for your feedback. My response:

1 - The PlayBook uses the mature QNX operating system which has been around since 1982. RIM bought the company earlier this year.
2 - Plenty of photos online but I agree, we won't know how usable it is until we try it
3 - Flash runs fine on my Sprint HTC EVO smartphone (Android) and on my BlackBerry Torch
4 - We won't know until it's released. However, ever other Apple device has a less expensive compeditor. I don't expect the tablet to be any different
5 - I expect carriers to sell the PlayBook as it is complements the BlackBerry smartphone and tethers via Bluetooth. I prefer my wi-fi only iPad to 3G so I don't have to pay for a separate data plan. Both AT&T and Verizon will be selling the iPad soon.
6 - Have you used a Torch? I own a Torch and while it's not perfect, it's a huge step forward over the Bold and I expect it will continue to improve over time

Mannu said...

1- Not mature as in, first time on a Playbook Tablet. We never used the playbook tablet, so we don't know how the UI feels like. It could be great, I don't know, I'll wait and see.

3- I never tried an EVO, only a Nexus One. It had *ok* performance, but once you enabled some flash area it would become impossible to scroll through the page without suffering lag. I'll take your word on the EVO tho.

4 and 5 - We will see.

6- Yes (not a whole lot tho, they are not available here in Brazil yet, I got to play with one from a visitor from US). It is better, but I'd say that both iOS and Android are running laps on the current Torch implementation and I personally expected more from the Torch.

I hope it is great stuff coming. The more great gadgets on the market, the merrier we gadget lovers will be.

I'll stop abusing of the space on your blog now :P