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RIM Explains BlackBerry PlayBook Bridge Setup Designed for BES Customers

PlayBook BES

RIM is walking a fine line with the BlackBerry PlayBook. Its like they cannot decide if it is a consumer or enterprise device. This just got a bit more interesting when I was reading @BonnieCNET tweets covering a Q&A panel with RIM @ CTIA. WSJ’s Walt Mossberg asked why RIM is launching a tablet that needs a BlackBerry to get your email and calendar. RIM’s response is the most interesting part.

According to Bonnie RIM said that the BlackBerry PlayBook will be getting a native email client in the “coming months” but it was originally designed with BES customers in mind. I can understand that BES customers are important to RIM but just look how they have been showing off the PlayBook. Front and center is gaming, web browsing, video, and other consumer focused features. On the other hand the only enterprise ready part of the tablet is the BlackBerry Bridge which in and of itself I hear only has one IT policy at launch (Bridge on/off).

So the thing I have to ask RIM. How hard would it be for you to write an email, calendar, etc client? I don’t think this is a deal breaker since I simply plan on using the Gmail website in the browser but still. Now that RIM has realized they are targeting the consumer market I am hoping we will see a PIM client very soon. I am not against the concept of the Bridge but why give the haters such an easy target?

5 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. I’m glad to see RIM is realizing that they are handicapping themselves unnecessarily by limiting the PlayBooks PIM capabilities to the BlackBerry Bridge. In order to succeed in a crowded tablet market, RIM must take every advantage available. By allowing non BlackBerry users access to BBM, they have just given the consumers a big incentive not to buy an IPad.

  2. If RIM opens up BBM to non-BalckBerry users, which I am not so sure is a good idea, they should definitely hold off until they have handhelds with the more compelling QNX based OS in the marketplace.

    Clearly, I like the current BlackBerry OS but it is practical, useful not sexy and sexy is needed to compete these days. Further, with the power of mobile processors it is possible to have pratical, useful and sexy.

    From what I have seen of the Playbook, RIM can’t get that OS on a handheld soon enough. I just hope that when they do, they don’t abandon keyboards.

  3. IMO, if RIM wants to sell millions of PlayBook it needs to appeal to owners of all smartphone platforms, not just their own. They NEED to get Android and iPhone and WinPhone7 users excited, NOT just us BlackBerry enthusiasts. AND those who have no smartphone at all! Requiring a BlackBerry smartphone to partner with the PlayBook is a REALLY bad idea for mass market appeal.

    There is a HUGE market of folks who have no desire for anything more than the dumbphone/featurephone they get from their carrier for free or dirt cheap and PlayBook needs to appeal to them too.

    And my biggie, the netbook market. How many millions over past 2 years or so bought $300-$400 netbooks? They want something new and cool, like a tablet.

  4. How hard can it be to write a calendar app that syncs with Gmail calendar??

    Although to be serious who is going to throw their phone away when they carry a playbook of iPad2? If you have your phone with you which has a calendar is there are need for one on your tablet? Short answer is NO.

    The only real need for one is to shut critics like Walt Mossberg up. Silly that anyone follows and old man like him.

    • I agree with this to some extent. I have an iPad right now and I barely use the calendar. Aside from the fact that it is pretty useless (for example, you can on search one yr from today) I do not want to enter calendar information from multiple points and worry about syncing etc.

      Arguably having the device share the same calendar is an ideal solution.

      However, the Playbook is a powerful computing device and should have native PIM apps under any circumstances, the BlackBerry Bridge should be an enchancement to the native PIM apps not a substitute. One size does not fit all and it should be a plus to have a BlackBerry with a Playbook not a requirement.

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