AT&T Bridges The Gap From The BlackBerry To The Playbook

Research in Motion’s Playbook customers with BlackBerrys on AT&T’s network can finally get access to the best of the BlackBerry now that the carrier has decided to approve the BlackBerry Bridge application for their phones. Without it, AT&T (NYSE: T) customers couldn’t get access to their BlackBerry e-mail or Messenger services on their Playbooks.

RIM announced that the new application was available on its corporate blog. It was never totally clear why AT&T thought this was such a bad thing, especially when you consider just 500,000 Playbooks were shipped during the last quarter. But the application does allow you to browse the Web on the Playbook using a BlackBerry’s data connection, which is helpful for those who live inside a BlackBerry world considering the Playbook is a Wi-Fi only device. Given AT&T’s travails over the years with network connectivity, perhaps it was being ultra-cautious before approving anything that could lead to heavy data usage.

It’s also hard to estimate how many people fall into that subset of the mobile world–BlackBerry users on AT&T that also bought a Playbook–but it was still a bit of an embarrassment for RIM (NSDQ: RIMM) when the Playbook launched and left those potential Playbook customers high and dry.