Blog Post

Dear BlackBerry, I Want a Real PlayBook, Not Videos

As a long time BlackBerry user, I get pretty excited when RIM (s RIMM), the company behind the iconic messaging device announces one of its new models. I have been particularly excited by the prospect of it introducing a new tablet device –- the PlayBook.

But excited as I am, I can’t ignore that the Canadian company is essentially hyping a product that isn’t likely to hit the market anytime soon. When it does, it’s likely to be entering a market overrun by competitors. What really got my goat this morning: RIM shared a video comparing its device with the iPad (s aapl). Sure, it’s a nice comparison in a video but where’s the beef? I can see the iPad. I can use it. I can buy it. Compare that to PlayBook: For now, you can’t touch it; you can’t use it; and forget about buying it.

That hasn’t prevented RIM from putting out the video, which compares PlayBook to the iPad, or from sending out a news alert. According to RIM’s PR folks:

The video runs through a series of comparison tests with a PlayBook and iPad which demonstrate three things: the speed of the BlackBerry PlayBook Browser, its support for rich Flash content, and the performance of open web standards like HTML 5 on the BlackBerry PlayBook.

Yeah, all that is great, except at its developer day in San Francisco, the company wouldn’t even let anyone touch the device. It has been nearly six weeks since RIM publicly announced the tablet. There are still no hands-on impressions from anyone who isn’t working for RIM. If other news reports are to be believed, it will early 2011 before the device shows up in the market.

Related Research from GigaOM Pro (Sub. Required.)

13 Responses to “Dear BlackBerry, I Want a Real PlayBook, Not Videos”

  1. LightTheTorch

    I agree. The iP*d is has pretty much cornered the market already. I’m already distributing them at work and jumping through hoops to get those bricks to work with our infrastructure. By the time the playbook is available we’ll be heavily invested in the one button monster and none of the technically challenged decision makers will be interested in the playbook, because by that time we will have gotten all our Lotus Notes apps web enabled to work on the iP*d. That’s what happens when your almost a year late bringing your product to market. By the time the playbook is released, Apple will have their second generation tablet in media hype and the playbook will be about as desirable as the Torch. The only upside is maybe RIM will offer a BOGO on it (buy one get one free) or offer it for 1/2 price to try and recover from a depressing launch.

    I’m a devout RIM supporter but I can’t sell what doesn’t exist to my company. So frustrating.

  2. @adrian

    how can you grock 3rd party development support and customer feedback from a video of a browser?

    at least the other company had plenty of hands on for those who attended the unveiling – @brianflys you build hype by letting normal people use it and share their opinions (even if it’s only for a few minutes in a controlled enviornment)


      In other words, if a technology development piques your interest, say from a online video, you prepare yourself to keep abreast of developments.

      RIM announced this a while back at the Adobe MAX conference in San Francisco on October 25.

      Being able to participate this early in the platform is a great strategic advantage to any forward thinking business.

      I think with the Playbook, RIM has a device that will be great for both work and play. Having third-party tools means the financial investment in targeting the Playbook can be amortized over other devices, such as Android tablets, as Adobe adds further support.

      If RIM’s terms/pricing become too onerous, you know you will have the flexibility to move on with minimal impact to your investment.

      That’s called risk mitigation.

      As a user, I admit, am not a fan of their smartphones. The hardware is great, however the user presentation is lacking and feels archaic compared to Android, iOS and WebOS.

      However, with their acquisition of QNX and the opportunity to rethink a platform from the hindsight of developing Blackberry OS, I feel they have a good chance of surprising us all.

      Good luck to them.

  3. stormdriver

    Although it is tempting to term their campaign something like “jumping the gun” they are simply creating the hype. Many companies do that. They should just make sure the device meets expectations raised in the promos otherwise it will be a bummer as technology and trends change quite fast these days. It shouldn’t happen that by the time they launch their first version the other companies are already providing the next generation of these devices.

  4. Why so upset?

    Just wait your turn, and you too will be able to enjoy what RIM has in store.

    Unlike tablets by a certain other firm predictably irrationally lauded by GigaOM, RIM enables businesses to see a product as it develops, participate in feedback, work with third-party development tools, all before final release, thus enabling enterprises to plan, mitigate risk, and align strategy.

    Sound business, if you ask me.

    • “Sound business” if you accept propaganda in place of poor product planning – pioneered by Microsoft – as sound.

      Cripes – it even took them six weeks to come up with a canned demo. Once again untouchable by human hands.

  5. brianflys

    I’m glad to see these advance glimpses of the Playbook. It shows this is not vaporware and there is a real product under development. Under development, that is the key. It’s not ready for sale yet, so we could either all speculate about it in a vacuum of no information (ala Apple) or else we get to see and comment on the in-work device. We can offer RIM early feedback. And for RIM, it stokes the fires of desire to buy one. As a long-time BB user and owner, I’m thrilled to see this leading-edge device come onto the market. The haters can say it’s not here yet, but you can clearly hear the footsteps…

  6. Thanks for taking this opportunity to discuss this about Black Berry. This is one of business phone today in the market.
    i have one black Berry phone and
    i install game on it. If possible, as you gain information, please update this blog with more information. I have found it really useful.