Posted in Concepts, Marketing
1/10 2010

Blackberry’s PlayBook – an interesting contender

This week RIM introduced it’s latest Blackberry product, a Tablet called the PlayBook. Should we be excited by this and should Apple be worried? What role can it play?

As of this moment the PlayBook, to all intents and purposes does not exist. Mike Lazardis of RIM walked around with a mock-Up and showed videos. He talked a lot about the hardware and very little about the software.

Oh dear, this does sound rather like RIM falling into its usual trap of concentrating on hardware, which it does very well, and neglecting the user experience. It will be interesting to see if they’ve learnt any lessons from Apple

How will the PlayBook compete with the iPad? Apart from the device itself, what matters is the availability of applications. Here. Apple has a huge lead, being the only platform that can seriously offer monitisation opportunities for developers. Today, there are over 225 000 apps available for the iPad and 0 for the PlayBook.

So, you may ask, to whom will the PlayBook appeal? There are of course RIM loyalists who will buy the device, yet those who buy blackberries today for the mechanical keyboard won’t have the same driver to buy the PlayBook. Consumers will find the iPad more attractive, unless the PlayBook is substantially cheaper, but this without a carrier subsidy is unlikely given the cost of materials. Also, other manufacturers will be playing at the bottom of the market with google’s android and chrome os which both offer access to a multitude of applications – blackberry will not have an advantage over these platforms.

Hence the PlayBook will most likely remain a niche product for companies that are already and happily locked into the blackberry ecosystem.

I predict that RIM may even use the PlayBook as a loss leader in the enterprise segment to sell professional services and further their lock-in of enterprise and government clients.

  • SofaKingJewish

    Here are the facts: 1. As of right now until further notice there is no other tablet except the iPad. Period. It is the best there is. As in it is the only popular consumer tablet device currently on the market. 2. Apple is a consumer first company, business second. 3. Rim is a business first, consumer company second. The fact that they are the first business orientated company creating a tablet device is huge. Absolutly huge. You should never under estimate that. Moving from this we see they announced it. 4. Whether you want to agree with tech specs or not, here is a news flash: tech specs don’t sell shit to consumers, they barely do to businesses. Rim’s Weakness in the consumer market is it’s ui/software. It’s horriblly stable, absolutely boring and does the job securely and nothing more. Everything a business class device should do, not a consumer device. Which brings us back to apple and a duo core iPad. Its. Not. Going. To happen. Which is more important to consumers’ duo, quad, octo cores or if they can surf the web, listen to music and grab any video they want on a whim? Again apple doesn’t have to do anything but put a camera in, release their face time creation upon the world and give the iPad 2 a slight upgrade In ram. That’s it and they have already made 10-21 million new iPad customers.Whereas rim has to convince 1. Businesses and consumers they need this new tablet. Not saying it can’t happen but it’s a much tougher road to go. Aside form all of this here is what I want. I want the new playbook to kick ass. I want it to not be an ipad. I want it to be awesome in it’s own way. I don’t want it to be laggy in anyway. I also hope it isn’t pushed back 5 times like the Notion Adam ink. But time will tell.Finally apple really could careless about selling the most of anything. It’s not their M.O. It never has been and never will. Steve jobs likes to change the world, but in his own way.

  • Richard Beck
  • Richard Beck

    Michael,I totally agree with you. It would be wonderful for RIM to be competitive in this market and bring something different. my gut feeling is that there barriers to entry are so high that it will be a two horse race between Apple and Google.I’d like to be wrong on this though.