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Dear BlackBerry PlayBook Haters, Stop Drinking the Kool-Aid

kidsuperman

I am always amazed when analysts and reporters love to open their mouths to prepare for more “foot” to be shoved in. For the last month or two we have been hearing non stop tirades on how the upcoming BlackBerry PlayBook will be a non starter and pales when pitted against the competition. I see it over and over again and it dismayed that some people are so set against a device that has the potential to actually redefine the tablet market. (and the smartphone market with the QNX OS)

Lets take the most common reasons haters cite as to why the PlayBook will fail miserably.

  1. The BlackBerry PlayBook doesn’t have a significant number of apps…
  2. It costs the same as an iPad
  3. It does not have a native email client at launch (Requires a BlackBerry for Bridging)

Lack of PlayBook apps

More often than not I hear about how the PlayBook does not have enough apps to compare against the iPad and Android Honeycomb builds. First of all lets set the stage a bit. What market is the BlackBerry PlayBook targeted at? A smartphone companion or a laptop replacement? I asked many iPad users and to them it almost always is defined as a sub-$800 laptop replacement or alternative. So that got me thinking. How many apps do you have installed on your laptop that you would want on a tablet?

As I pointed out before, most of the things I do on my laptop are in the browser. For example, right now I have 40+ tabs open in FireFox. The thing is that almost half of them are “Apps” that will work like a charm on the BlackBerry PlayBook. Trust me I tried them. Here are some examples:

  • Two Google Apps email accounts and One Gmail account
  • Gmail Calendar
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Reader
  • Chartbeat
  • Pandora
  • Youtube/Vimeo
  • WordPress
  • Google Analytics
  • Google Adsense

So essentially every website that uses Flash is an “app” that is unnecessary on the BlackBerry PlayBook. There might be a benefit for some things to be pulled into an app but WHY compromise? It seems like everybody has forgotten that Apple’s iPad is missing the most popular app on the web. Namely Flash. While Android has Flash it is not available built into the native OS. According to RIM that is 1.6 million more Flash website “apps” that are unavailable on the iPad.

On top of that RIM has taken a shotgun approach to development on the BlackBerry PlayBook. The BlackBerry PlayBook currently supports Adobe AIR/Flash and WebWorks (HTML/CSS/JavaScript) for development. They have also announced an upcoming Java and Android app player “sandbox” along with a native C/C++ SDK. That is FIVE different development environments to entice developers. RIM is banking on that to bring in the apps.

The PlayBook costs the same as the iPad

This one puzzles me. RIM is the first grade-A tablet maker that has a Tablet priced anywhere near the iPad. It matches it almost dollar for dollar without carrier subsidies. Except for the screen size, which makes it more portable, the iPad stacks up nicely against the PlayBook with each winning in different areas. Don’t get me wrong RIM could sell more if it was priced at $300 but then they would be losing money and undervaluing their own product.

In short it is the same price or even less because you can use coupons on the BlackBerry PlayBook at retailers and the prices are only MSRP. That means they will go down while the iPad will remain $499+ until next year.

It does not have a native email client (BlackBerry Bridge)

I am really curious to know how many consumers out there have a native email client on their desktop or laptop? I only use Outlook at the office because of its Exchange features but other than that I exclusively use Gmail and Google Apps. RIM made a compromise and simply allowed you to view your BlackBerry Smartphones email from your PlayBook. An interesting idea and a real win for businesses that cannot justify paying for another data plan just to get email, calendar, contacts, and other data on a business tablet.

That means that many companies can deploy the PlayBook along with a BlackBerry as a value proposition. They can use the device over Wi-Fi regularly but access their email, contacts, and calendar on a bigger screen. We know RIM is bringing a native email client in the future but I would rather them get it right since there is a reason I don’t use Outlook for my Gmail and Google Apps accounts.

I would actually flip this lack of native email complaint on its head. The BlackBerry PlayBook is the only tablet that gives you access to email, contacts, calendar, BBM and more without a data plan for your tablet. The BlackBerry PlayBook is also the only tablet to ship with a built in Word, PowerPoint, and Excel application along with a PDF reader. That same suite costs $30+ on an iPad from Apple…

Conclusion

In short I think RIM has a solid offering with the BlackBerry PlayBook. It is really sad to see people hating on the device for nitpicky reasons without seeing the future potential for RIM. This is a long game for RIM. They plan on consistently adding functionality to the PlayBook. For example, the Android apps and Java apps player will be coming in the summer. They will also be releasing a native email client, gaming engine, C/C++ SDK, 3G and 4G variants, and more as a constant evolution.

In short the BlackBerry PlayBook has some serious potential. It offers features and speed that can only be dreamed of on other platforms with an OS that has been around longer than Windows and designed by a company that defined mobile productivity. After stagnating a bit in the mobile OS RIM has brought a gun to the gun fight with the BlackBerry PlayBook and it’s main competitor is essentially running a smartphone OS on a bigger screen. I got a chance to play with the BlackBerry PlayBook quite a few times until now and I cannot wait to finally take one home!

Let me know what you think!

PS: Expect a follow up article on why I think you should choose the BlackBerry PlayBook over competitors like the iPad. Once you set it down in an easy to consume format you start seeing things like “no iTunes required” and native Flash support.

161 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. For the lack of apps and no native email — I would never buy a tablet to replace a laptop. Replicating the desktop writing experience with a bluetooth keyboard (for longer writing sessions) is not feasible for mobile use. But even still, why would I pay for a tablet that can’t even get email for me without using hte browser? Doing such requires me to always leave a window or tab open to receive updates. Again, this is an unnecessary limitation.

    As for the only tablet that doesn’t require a data plan — WiFi-only XOOM, Galaxy Tab, iPad 1/2….? And, if you already have a smartphone with tethering (paid or unpaid) you can get data too. I don’t understand this point.

    Finally, the support of Flash is hardly a pro/con. If you spend any time online you’ll find the people for and against said feature is right around 50/50. I personally never use any “app” or game that requires flash in the browser and even go as far as running plugins in firefox and chrome to disable all Flash plugins. I can go in and allow certain web pages that have Flash forms/login screens etc. It’s a known fact that Flash does require some processing power to work well — keyword. And on the road where battery life reigns supreme, Flash isn’t exactly a good thing. Nevertheless, I can understand people wanting it.

    Overall, I am intrigued by the PlayBook, but not because of the hardware. It’s nothing special. It’s the new QNX OS that has my attention. After spending some time with it at CES, I’ve come away optimistic (as I once was a hardcore CrackBerry diehard fan). For now, I’ll make due with my myriad Android and iOS devices sitting around my house — not because one can’t do all the work I need, but because I just love gadgets.

    • Sorry Mike, when you said you disable flash plug-ins in your browser I knew you were lieing. There is no point in reading further….

      • After seeing your inability to correctly spell or use spell check, perhaps the same can be said about your comment…

        And why is that so odd? Many people do it. It’s called Flashblock. It is one of the most popular Chrome plugins similar extensions are just as popular on Firefox. Why you can’t read past that…beats me.

        • Because about 90 of the top 100 sites use flash… period.

          • And your point is…? Where are your metrics for what the Flash is actually used for? A large chunk of Flash on websites is for annoying ads and other non-critical stuff. And, it’s not like I’m blocking everything for good. I pick and choose on the websites were flash is actually useful to me. And because I don’t play Flash web games and just about every Flash website that has some sort of Flash login form has a separate HTML version, blocking Flash is far less critical than you make it out to be.

            • Hi Mike,
              Flash is installed on almost 99% of computers for a reason. I am not the biggest proponent of it but RIM managed to make it work along with Android. The iPad is simply a holdout.

              Want to know websites that require Flash?
              Facebook apps – many of them are in flash
              Pandora
              Myspace music player
              Video sites like Vimeo YouTube
              Flash gaming websites
              Many shopping, sports, fashion sites
              Training videos and slides
              Hulu
              CNN video
              Most news sites that have video
              Google Finance
              Google Analytics
              oh and my favorite one that a friend pointed out – Porn sites

              • Yeah, and when I’m on my phone (and Galaxy Tab at least) I use apps for those. Why? Formatted for the screen.

                Computers also come stocked full of bloatware from the manufacturer, free trials to numerous POS software titles you’ll rarely use, and all kinds of other fun stuff. Doesn’t mean we need them.

              • @Mike
                Thats the thing. The apps will come if and only if they are necessary. Let me give you a perfect example. Take YouTube. On the iPad and iPhone the solution is to use the YouTube app just like it is on the BlackBerry smartphone. What RIM is trying to push is there are no compromises. You can simply check out the YouTube video just like you do from your desktop without an app.
                Take the top 100 free “Apps” on iTunes:
                http://www.apple.com/itunes/charts/free-apps/
                From the ones that are apps:
                myWireless from AT&T gives you limited access to your AT&T account information. With the PlayBook you can simply go to the AT&T website (which requires flash BTW) and view everything.
                Next in line is Google Places… Which is simply a dumbed down version of the website
                Third we have Facebook. Once again a lighter version of the Facebook website. Is there a reason you don’t use a Facebook “app” on your computer?

                • What i do not understand is why do you take it for granted that a PlayBook owner must have a Blackberry phone too? Speaking of choices, isn’t this requirement a limitation!

                  Plus, if you have a different smartphone, you have no choice but to tether, which almost always is extra cost anyway.

              • word to your mother

            • Thats wrong. Most website with Flash logins and info DO NOT have HTML versions. You gotta browse more man.

          • word

        • Mike mike.. who cares if people make spelling mistakes. I am typing this and not even paying attention to what I wrote to see if their are spelling mistakes. Its the content and the validity of peoples opinions that matteer. Not if they spell someting rong….. see… see how I did that….

      • I think you missed the part where a rebuttal should have a logical basis.

      • Noscript, buddy.

    • Ah I forgot to mention. You are not actually disabling Flash you are simply blocking it until you decide to play it. For example, when you head to YouTube do you not play Flash? How about when you are on Facebook? Or when you upload multiple files in Gmail? etc etc etc

      • Why would i use a browser to do that when the native email app does it just fine?

        • Choice. Its all about Choice… no this isn’t a Matrix flashback. Choice is never a bad thing. Never ever try to say choice is a bad thing. If you do.. you are communist…… no but seriously… choice is a good thing

        • Sorry Mike but… Why would I use an APP when it works as it was MEANT to be in a browser? You grasping at straws here. It’s like you can’t see the obvious and will say anything to stand by your initial point.

          I have to admit, with every defense you write, I respect your opinion that much less. Unfortunately, you make it sound like people should stop building websites, and just start building apps. Not use flash. Hence, do anything to make sure it works on an iOS device that’s that.

    • 50/50 for or against Flash? Please remove yourself from our “geek” bubble. I have been talking about the PB Flash capabilities to so many people and do you know what the majority say? “Whats Flash?”

      50/50????? Most people have no idea what adobe or flash is. Mike… you gotta remove yourself from the bubble!

    • The idea is not that it’s a TABLET that doesn’t require a data plan, it’s this:

      If you are away from Wifi with your WiFi only iPad and get an email, you’re stuck with your phone to reply. With BlackBerry Bridge, your email will come through your Berry onto your PlayBook. The PlayBook doesn’t require a Data Plan to get that email. It’s just an offering that RIM has over others. Some like it, some don’t.

  2. Well said. You really helped put things in perspective, although I was very disappointed at the price. It would have been extremely competitive if it had lowered the price by at least 100$.

  3. Here’s the thing that most people also fail to realize…

    BlackBerry OS (the one on the phones) lacks a built-in E-Mail client, in the traditional sense.

    BIS/BES is a “service-based solution for pushing E-Mail”, and does not involve a local app that can directly communicate with mail servers.

    Of course this service-based approach does still get the job done for a lot of users. And for those it doesn’t work for, there are 3rd party options.

    • Very true. Hopefully some email clients spring up for the PlayBook. Otherwise, having to constantly tether to a separate device is a big flaw in my book.

      • Sorry again, but saying big flaw is just dumb. It’s like saying when I carry around my tablet I don’t want to have a mobile phone with me. The point is you are always going to have your phone with you. So th whole email client thing is moot. Yes it’s nice to have blackberry bridge but really the point of a table is web browsing more than anything else.
        iPad/Ipad 2 fail at this and hence the need for apps. It’s about that simple.

        • Wrong, I don’t buy a tablet because it can do one thing well (i.e. browsing). I want it to do everything my smartphone can at the very least, because believe it or not, I don’t always have it sitting right next to me nor do I want to use it all the time. Sometimes I want to reply to shorter responses and more basic emails. A tablet is perfect for this. You saying it’s not a flaw and is dumb. And who are you to say the whole point of a tablet is web browsing. To one person, the whole point of tablets could be presentations, remote control of some other device, a video player, etc. In the day and age of one gadget doing it all, going backwards and removing functionality is a big deal.

          Of course, we can argue all we want here. The proof as to whether consumers really want a tablet that lacks basic functions will come 6-12 months down the road when RIM reports their financial earnings.

          • Considering how many the first iPad sold. It already proven consumers don’t really care about the lack of basic functions.

          • Oh you can bet on that. If you are betting that RIM won’t have good earnings in the future good luck to you!

          • omg Mike.

            Most people don’t have an EMAIL client on their permanent DESKTOP. My laptop doesn’t have one either.

            This also isn’t supposed to replace a phone. The idea is that your smartphone still remains. But you can access email with your smartphone.

            Tell me, what are the odds, that you’re somewhere, with your tablet, without your smartphone?

            Secondly, what would be the odds, that you would want to read your offline email on your tablet, when your smartphone is already updated with newer pushed emails?

            I suppose someone will try to argue anything to say that this is a bad product of some sorts. Hell, the title of this article says it all. People just try to bash it. Making up reasons. VERY ‘Apple’ reasons too.

            “Who needs flash?” and “It doesn’t have email and calendaring so it’s a BIG flaw”.

            How is this not a pro iOS type of response? really.

      • Flaw?? Haha….. you are not “winning”

  4. Coming from a site that only does BlackBerry news I have to say this is one of the most one-sided articles I have ever read. I honestly wont go into my opinion, its just not worth my time. The Playbook is terrible, nuff said.

    • Please send me the one you’re using then.

    • Obviously because you have nothing to say.

      If you were here yesterday you’d say playbook has no apps, now you can’t say that so it’s all about email, which is retarded because people have email on their mobile phones whether they be BB, iPhone or whatever. There is not one person on earth that is going to abandon their phone for for a tablet, so the whole point is moot.

      • And the PlayBook still doesn’t have apps. It’s bumming off of the Android Market because RIM knows it will take too long to get enough support from developers to even come close to competing with Android or iOS in terms of availability of tablet-specific apps.

        The wide support for development languages is a plus though.

        And dude, your troll stench is beginning to really reek. Please actually reply with something constructive.

        • And your post says what? You sir are the Troll coming to a site called BerryReview to display your apple Fanboyism.

          The point is you lied in your original post because you can overcome the fact that the iPad can’ do flash. There is no response to this huge flaw in the product. No response whatsoever.

          The reason the iPad(2) does not have flash is because Steve Jobs doesn’t like it. That is pathetic.

          • Generally Apple fanboys don’t like Android. I do. I like BlackBerry too…I used to love them. But more modern operating systems such as Android, iOS, and webOS won me over.

            • I’m sorry!!?? WebOS?? That’s why Palm went bankrupt and HP bought them! I just think your opinion is worth SHIT anywhere you might open your mouth! Nuf said

              • You obviously have a very open mind and are exceptionally inviting to someone who likes a platform different than yours.

                /sarcasm

              • And palm went bankrupt because they choose to do hardware themselves, adding to overall cost and complexity (on their end). Their ultimate demise was because hardware (or lack thereof) failed to impress and they couldn’t get anything new out. If the hardware was there, the software would have come along much faster than it did (and still is)

            • web os???? wow…. mike… come on man.. I know you are better than that

        • please explain why its a bad thing to be able to easily port over an app from android to bb? Please explain. I am intrigued.

        • Android didn’t have apps when it started. Not many. You have to start somewhere.

          It’s brilliant that the Playbook can use Android apps. But of course, you call it “Bumming”. Like that term changes the fact that it will support them.

          You’re essentially saying that no one should dare start anything new. Because any company trying will pale in comparison because they don’t have as many apps.

          And god forbid should they support Flash. Oh boy.

    • It’s typical to provide sound supporting arguments when making a blanket statement — otherwise one might be get mistaken for a troll.

    • hahaha!!!! please give a reason that is original and also please indicate whether you think the ipad 2 or the xoom is or isn’t terrible

    • Fair enough that you think the comments are biased because it is BB site. Is it any different at the iSite or andorid sites? I wouldn’t expect it to be. And of course most of us do not waste our time by going there and bad mouthing the products they use.

      Since you did not say you have had access to the playbook, i am going to assume you do not, so your comments is hot air. How can you comment on something you have never used?

  5. Why should it be $100 cheater?

    It has better specs then the ipad in every way except screen size. And that’s subjective.

    Besides, it’s is cheaper… well here in Canada, because Apple likes F@#@ Canadians, even though our dollar is worth more then the US.

    And the analysis are missing a hug point. By the end of the year, the playbook will be the best portable game platform bar none.

    • Sorry mean to say “cheaper”

      Dammit

    • I think it’s a bit early to call the PlayBook the best gaming device ever. The XOOM, on paper, is light years ahead of the first gen iPad and on par with the 2nd, but I don’t see it toppling the iPad (1 or 2) anytime soon.

      It isn’t all about the specs.

      • Give it up sir, anyone that knows about computers knows that QNX runs circles around iOS.

        The only place where apple leads is in marketing, and you are one who has been sucked into the apple marketing vortex.

        • Proof? You call me a troll and yet you spew baseless claims. And again, I laugh at you calling me an Apple fanboy. I use daily, no less than three mobile operating systems because I enjoy them and not a single one is perfect.

          • Based on the real-world uses of the QNX OS and plethora of cases where it’s running on very limited hardware I’d say the burden of proof is on you mike. Until we actually have the tablet and can perform benchmarks nothing can be proven, but it’s safe to say QNX will out perform iOS. It would seem history has shown us Linux vs Darwin -> Linux vs Mac OS ends up in Linux winning. I actually found a pretty decent comparison here http://sekhon.berkeley.edu/macosx/ a bit old but it’s highlighting the usage of a dual core chip.

            • QNX is not based on Linux but is a custom-built Unix-based system using a very tight & optimal real-time microkernel. It allows QNX to be an extremely responsive real-time operating system that can scale tremendously to take on an enormous number of processing transactions using huge multi-core hardware platforms.

              Imagine having this much power in your hand with the PlayBook. I’ll be taking April 20th & 21st off sick so I can play with mine :)

              Seriously, it’s really looking good in that Rogers video posted recently.

            • No worries. I can appreciate the value of Linux, its performance & flexibility. I run three Linux machines at home (Ubuntu & Fedora) plus two Windows (because of specific apps and games). I nearly did get a Mac but I didn’t want to be cramped by Apple and pay a ton of $$$ for additional software. I have less time for playing around than I used to, but I still tinker.

              I’ll admit that Android has given me some excitement, especially now on the PlayBook, as software can be developed on all sorts of platforms.

          • mike just please back up statements with evidence

      • Haha Mike your are funny sir. I also think you have some valid points and I am not going to counter them because I get what you are saying. My point is people have different taste and different preferences. As a consumer all this Apple, Android, and RIM talk benefits us. The sooner consumers realize this the better. I can’t say Apple isn’t good because they have pushed the bar in certain aspect of the industry just like you can’t say RIM or Android hasn’t pushed the bar in certain aspect as well. If Mike likes having all three device he is entitled to that but to turn around and tell people well the PlayBook isn’t really something I would use so therefore its a fail is wrong. I will be the first to admit that RIM has been slow to react to the charging consumer space……I don’t think business is an issue if you ever worked for government. Change comes extremely slow and economically makes no sense for a large firm to support 14 different devices. But back to my point, I think the OS like you pointed out is where RIM is really getting traction. Let’s not forget all both Apple and Google didn’t create their current OS rather they were bought much the same way RIM is doing now. RIM’s future is bright but I can’t help but wonder if people just want to hate for the sake of hating at times. I can’t think of a company that has continues to do well but yet people always pick at the little thing. Its like people who pick on Apple for flash. Much the same way people pick on RIM for supporting flash. Its a stupid argument because as consumers we need choice not a monopoly by one company. If I need flash I will find a device that supports it, I shouldn’t be told by a company what or what I shouldn’t have to on my device to fit their economic needs. I’m talking about all manufacturers here. My last point has nothing to do with your comment Mike but rather those on the site saying RIM should have sold it for $100.00 or $300.00. The PlayBook is not a NOOK! Has anyone taken basic economics here? Research consumer and producer surplus. Why would any company sell below what consumers are willing to actually pay? Businesses constantly try to create value in their product so your opportunity cost is high, which allows them to charge you more to gain more producer surplus from the consumer. Businesses look to maximize profit not meet your budget. RIM has no reason to sell below the current market price unless they are stupid.

        • While we may not walk the same lines on everything, I can respect your views and ability to construct useful responses.

        • You make some of the most valid points I’ve seen here and elsewhere (in spite of the lack of line breaks 😉

          The market is nascent; there’s room in it for multiple competitors and the choice that these competitors bring to the table ultimately benefits the consumer — and each other, as they learn from each others’ mistakes.

          Re prices: that’s a tough one. Even a price like 479 MSRP would have differentiated them to consumers.

        • I was reading through the comments, because I find it interesting to know what others think, but it drives me crazy sometimes!

          I don’t usually comment, but I just wanted to thank you for being a voice of reason on the internet!

          Can’t stand it when people start putting down and insulting others on tech blogs just because they have different opinions (even if I agree with them)

          *And Mike while I don’t agree with you I can see where you’re coming from.

          • This was in reply to Celticboi

            • I agree with you Chrisjohn1990. I laugh at times cause its almost like politics in a way. A lot of people who are passionate but very few that actually understand the complexity of an issue or product being produced. I don’t feel RIM is any type trouble and I think they are moving in the right direction. I am excited for the future!

      • I agree. It takes more than one game to prove that.

        Time will tell. But as a first impression, can you at least admit that it looks pretty decent? The lack of acknowledgement on anything postive on the the Playbook is what makes people feel you’re just out to trash.

        Good processor, good OS, good size (for many), true multitasking, HDMI out, USB, 2 cameras, both hi-rez. HD Video recording (1080P no less), supports flash. Has a great game preloaded (and seems to work nicely)…

        But you’re harping on Lack of apps, or that they’re “bumming” them, or that Flash is dumb.

        You can argue that you prefer a larger tablet. Fair enough. You can say that you actually don’t like the OS structure that you saw in the videos. That would be valid (which people can disagree with, but valid nevertheless)…

        But man. The arguments are using are fairly week and just seem to be for the sole purpose of being snarky.

        Sorry man.

  6. I believe there is one essential thing you forgot to mention that RIM has gieven to all Blackberry owners and into all of their Blackberry product: NO NEED FOR JAILBREAK OR ROOT!!!!!
    That is a HUGE point that seems to go under the radar cause the platform is open to other web store or app stores and you can side load apps and upgrade or downgrade the OS version as much as you want in a very traditional way of doing so! Not to mention all the other points this article stated above!

  7. Why does everyone keep harping on the native client for email and requirement for tethering?? The iPAD has NO email client at all.
    Also, the only reason you have to tether to another BB for email and PIN related services is because it is the WiFi only version. To utilize PIN services, you have to subscriber to RIM services which (and this has always been the case) has to be done through a cellular provider because that provider provisions to the RIM network. When the 3G and 4G versions of the Playbook are release, tethering will NOT be required because you will be using a cellular provder to have such services.

    • Hey, you are right, mkconnors20008. There is no email client on the iPad, but reviewers don’t complain it is not a standalone device. People are so darn finicky!

      • I should add that doesn’t mean that an email client is unnecessary. It is very important, and especially from the PlayBook’s perspective, and especially because of the BB Bridge feature, the PlayBook needs to be seen as a separate device that doesn’t need a BlackBerry.

        I’ve already read dozens of reviews that suggest a BlackBerry is needed or the device is much less useful. In actual fact, without a BlackBerry, it is just as useful as an iPad. You just get more if you do have a BlackBerry as well :) Bite and chew on that!

    • I’m very confused as why you say the iPad “has no native email client?” I have an iPad (the old one, the original one, at that), and I use my iPad’s native email client every dang day. :) (BTW, I’m not a PlayBook or RIM hater…. I love my BB Torch and the announcement of the Android app capability puts me closer to getting the sweet lookin’ little PlayBook… just wanted to clear up the confusion on the “no native email on iPad” :) )

    • I would like to know when you tether the Playbook to a BB Torch 9800. Can you use the slide out keyboard on the 9800 to type on the tablet?

      In other words, is the tablet just a screen extension of the BB when tethered?

  8. Just to clarify my point about the PlayBook being the only device that does not require a data plan. What I meant was that it is the only device that can access email, calendar, contacts, BBM and other information when the tablet itself is not connected to the internet.
    For example, on a Wi-Fi iPad when you do not have a Wi-Fi connection you cannot access your new email, calendar items, instant messaging conversations, etc. This is a feature on the PlayBook to not need another data plan for this access!

  9. For me the decision is simple. I have 2 friends with iPads and they keep them in the house all the time. It’s too big, and I’m not wearing a satchel carrying it around all day. Android is completely out the window until Google can fix all the security issues it has. It seems like a weekly occurance now that new Android vulnerabilities get announced. This leaves the PlayBook and from what I’ve seen on videos it will be preloaded with everything I need.

    • I carry my iPad around with me quite literally almost everywhere in a very nice iPad-designed shoulder sling. :) It is not heavy at all nor does it feel too big in that scenario.

      That said, one of the big (er, small :p) reasons I would love a PlayBook is the more portable form factor — near pocketable depending on what I’m wearing, really!

    • Does it come with Microsoft Office 365? Or just part of it? The cloud storage part? Don’t know much about it.

  10. This is why I read this blog! Tell it like it is, Ronen! Good for you!!

    I’m 99.99% positive that RIM will provide a native email client for the PlayBook at launch. RIM must see that this is a major stumbling block for potential users who have other smartphones and can’t or won’t switch to a BlackBerry for whatever reason.

    What’s the point of it having WiFi but no native email client? I suppose a gmail app might fill that void but it is not an ideal solution.

    The PlayBook must appear to be able to stand on its own. If it doesn’t, the common non-technical reviewers will look at it as a tool ONLY for existing BlackBerry users, which it isn’t.

    I wish RIM would “torch” the myth that the PlayBook requires a BlackBerry!

    • Would the Microsoft Office 365 help? Is there an Outlook cloud service that can be in place of the native email client you are looking for.

      A bit cloudy with the RIM-Microsoft cloud partnership.

      Anyone knows more?

  11. Whether you like flash or not, it is used on a ton of websites. Apple not implementing it is a narrow minded approach to a situation. They can’t manage to do it efficiently so they choose not to do it at all. That mentality is what will eventually result in failure. RIM is open minded enough to listen to what many people want. They worked with Adobe to put out a great product. It is no wonder there is so much hate for the PlayBook. I believe the proper word to describe all this pent up anger is ENVY.

  12. [IMG]http://www.rumorpedia.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/hatersgonnahate.jpg[/IMG]

  13. Very well written article. This is why I come to BerryReview so that I can read stuff like this. I just hope that general consumers will stop worshiping Steve Jobs one day and actually start thinking for themselves.

  14. I guess it is hard to leave the heard.

  15. WOW.

    I’m stunned. How can you (or anybody) defend the playbook’s shortcomings individually? Yet you try and defend them ALL in 1 post.

    Amongst other things you defend a 2011 tablet that needs to be ‘bridged’ to a smartphone to read email natively.

    I’m speechless. Enjoy your playbook.

    • Thank you BS I was waiting for somebody to lob that ball in the air for me to knock it down hard.
      How about a 2011 second generation device that still performs “quasi” multitasking.
      For example, on the iPad try loading up a YouTube video in the background and then going to another app.
      Or one that still uses popups for notifications. Or does not have flash support when their users are clamoring for it. Or still uses proprietary cables. Or still requires iTunes to perform basic functions. Or an “enterprise ready” device that can be hacked in 5 seconds flat. Or one that cannot play even the most basic video codecs by default without an app. Or requires a dongle to get HDMI out.
      The list keeps on going… Need me to continue?

      • Ronen getting fiesty!!

      • Way to go Ronen, he has no reply of course.
        It amazes me the way apple fans simply refuse to see any limitations in their product.

        We all know there are tons of things BB phones won’t do, but we like the form factor and the communication pluses.

        Apple fans simply refuse to see limitations even when their phone don’t work as phones, they don’t care.

        • Ohhhhh!!! Ouch! kiddo2050, that really hurts in the gut :) Good one! Why call it an iPhone when it really is a poor excuse for a phone??

          I do agree I am envious of some of the specialized apps on the iOS platform, but I’d rather stick with my BB that actually does do the job, both as a great phone and excellent messaging device.

      • Ronen dropped da bomb!!!

      • Er. At what point in my comment did I mention I was an apple fan? Yet you launch into iOS bashing mode somewhat automatically. For iPad. Forget iOS. Forget ALL other devices. Let’s also forget YouTube and iTunes whislt we are at it. This post is you defending the fact that a 2011 high end tablet can not perform THE MOST BASIC function of native email without it’s ball and chain blackberry smartphone.

        • Ah BS I am truly sorry for mistaking you for an Apple fan. What other “2011 tablets” were you referring to? If you are talking about Android HoneyComb devices then that is a whole other story. The big struggle Android is up against is that they do not make the hardware and the software. They are running into the same hurdle as Android phones. When you buy a BlackBerry PlayBook or an iPad you know that it will be the top end supported device from the software manufacturer for at least a year.

          For example, ask anybody who bought a Samsung Galaxy… Kinda got screwed not getting the OS designed for Tablets. Or are we talking about the $600 Wi-Fi Xoom? While the HoneyComb OS will be RIM’s main competitor in my opinion Google released it way too soon. It is riddled with bugs so much so that they refuse to release the source code since it would cause a “bad user experience”. I played with a Xoom but once again it will be outdated in a month or two by a whole new slew of Android tablets with their own issues.
          Now if Google decided to make their own tablet hardware along with the software we probably would have some real competition!

      • Ronen,

        May be you should be the one I should ask about the RIM-Microsoft cloud partnership.

        I read the Microsoft Office 365 is free for Playbook. Not sure if all of it is free or just the cloud storage is free and not the cloud services.

        Another question:
        I ordered a 16 GB Playbook thinking it has an USB interface, that I can attached my movies ladened 1T storage device to the Playbook. Do you know what is the size of the CPU/GPU memory?

        Thank you.

      • …and he’s down and out! A left followed by a right and a wicked uppercut!!! This contest is all over, folks! Winner by a knockout!

        Ronen was just itching for you to go down that alley.

        The PlayBook does have gmail and hotmail apps, and will autosync your messages, contacts, calendars and notes from your BlackBerry. That is such a sweet deal that I’d buy a BlackBerry just to be able to have one common respository for all my data. Remember, the PlayBook does not copy my messages, calendar or contact info from my BlackBerry, it just presents it to me so I only have to maintain ONE database, not several.

      • Bullshit.

        Using the Blackberry playbook for the last couple of days and I want to rip my hair out.

        I don’t own a Blackberry phone. Not entirely sure why they should require that I do. I purchased this thing hoping to finally have something other than the garbage Galaxy Tab, what I got was a hunk of crap I will be returning shortly.

        Enjoy YOUR playbook when you finally get one.

        ***The blackberry Playbook is the Tablet version of the Blackberry storm.. pure and utter shit.****

    • They are reading it natively through bridge. Because their smartphone has current email.

      Who’s gonna have their tablet but not their smartphone around? It just links them. What’s the problem? And who uses offline email anymore?

      oh wait. Wifi only iPad users.

      ok. iPad users with a Data plan have a native email client. Oh but.. you need a plan. Whereas the Wifi PLaybook doesn’t need a plan as it just hops on your blackberry. And gets all the push email, without having to spend on ANOTHER plan.

      Should we mention that iPhone didn’t have multitasking for many generations? And to a certain extent, it still doesn’t?

      Should we mention that it took the 3rd generation of iPhone to even get Cut and Paste?

      And yet, I’ll be the first to say it was a good product regardless.

      People need to not just bellow out narrow excuses and look at the big picture.

  16. @Ron….ROFL Please do, I like to laugh. :)

  17. All of this silly Playbook bashing will continue until Playbook drops on April 19th. Basically on that day there will not be on iPad or Android user that will be able to say “My iPad does X and your Playbook doesn’t” but there will be a ton of Playbook owners that’s be saying , oh wait a second I’ll just flip over to the real face book, oh what you can’t do that, sorry.

    Then the only thing will be “my screen is bigger” to which the playbook user will say ” sorry didn’t hear you I was just putting my Playbook in my jacket pocket.” :-)

    April 19th bye bye iPad2

    • I use the “real Facebook” on my iPad. What make you think you can’t? I suppose if I played Farmville or the apps, it would bother me, but I have a strict no-FB-apps rule. 😀 I don’t play them on my computer, either, because I don’t like them. 😀

      I’m very excited about the PlayBook, in any case, and I am likely to pick one up, though not at launch, but a few months down the road…

      • Umm sorry but you don’t use the Real Facebook site on your iPad. The Facebook site uses flash which is not supported on the iPad. This is just what I was saying above. iPad owners simply refuse to acknowledge the limitations of their product. It is simply apple marketing that has sucked you into thinking an app is something more than a web work around.

        I cold care less if or when you get a playbook but don’t go around saying crap like you just did about facebook.

        And of course I know the ipad has a facebook app but you know that wasn’t my point. Just for once, for God’s sake admit that apple’s web browser sans flash is absolutely ridiculous. Honestly bloggers and media should have booed Steve Jobs off stage at the iPad 2 launch for not having flash on the iPad2. The man is such a total dickhead.

        • I stand corrected on this point: the site is in fact, gracefully handled by Facebook to hide functionality not apparently handled by iPad; I presume the chat functionality requires Flash? I don’t find I use FB chat much anymore, so I hadn’t even noticed. Obviously, for someone that uses it, its lack would be unacceptable.

          I agree that the lack of Flash is an artificial limitation, though I think Apple’s design choice was based on delivering strong battery life that most people would actually experience.

          As it is, the market is nascent, and I think as it develops, tablets will continue to become more and more “full experiences”; the iPad clearly lacks some basic functionality found in cheap netbooks. It’s why I don’t give up my laptop, that’s for sure. :)

  18. With Apple recently relenting on iOS cross-compilation restrictions due to antitrust pressures, it’s only a matter of when, not if, that apps being developed for iOS appear in parallel on alternative platforms, like QNX. The work Novell is doing with Mono for touch and droid is one example towards acheiving this outcome.

    If RIM continues to multi-purpose QNX for multiple development environments, they will effectively neutralise any app differentiation that competing platforms currently enjoy. Heck with Apple’s, typical device performance, competing platforms with the right hardware specs could very feasibly run iOS intended apps faster and more effectively than iOS. That will upset a few people!

  19. This article and the comments are classic. Great job Ronen. Very good read. I say make this a sticky forums :)

  20. Does the playbook have a Micro SD slot? best buy web site states it does. I have been unable to cofirm this anywhere else.

  21. This is the quote from Best Buy site:
    Enjoy face-to-face video calls with dual cameras, or snap great shots. Plus, with micro USB, micro HDMI, micro SD and Bluetooth connectivity options, you’ll have everything you need to connect with your other peripheral devices. And at less than 1 pound, you can carry it everywhere without feeling weighed down.

  22. http://ic-technews.com/mobile-gadgets/4201-blackberry-playbook-tablet-vs-ipad-2-coming-up-of-an-real-competitor

    Well, here’s another article saying there is an SD slot, from today 3/25…maybe the final release will have an SD lot after all.

  23. I’m finding it very interesting that when you point out something to Apple devotees, that is sorely lacking in their “ecosystem”, they just push it off like it never really mattered or was useful to them. It’s like they’re saying “Toilet paper?? I know I don’t have any. But, I never found it useful to me anyway. I can get along without it just fine.”

    • Sometimes, the limitations aren’t “showstoppers,” sometimes they are. In the current marketplace, for how I use my tablet, I don’t find the other offerings compelling enough to switch.

      For how I use my smartphone, I did find I like another platform (BlackBerry) better; in this case, with my heavy SMS usage, the iOS notification system became too cumbersome and annoying, and I swapped out my iPhone 4 for a Torch. The Torch also has some limitations, but weighed against my prior solution, I prefer it overall.

      • I totally agree with you. I guess my point was, that although you can do without, or find a workaround. Having it usually makes the experience more pleasant. :) It’s the increasingly outright avoidance/denials of the limitations of Apple products that I find almost humorous at times. Of course BlackBerry devices have their fair share of shortcomings, but I’m not blind to those either. Cheers!

  24. Ben, well, yes, it’s because sometimes people begin to identify with their products. :). I actually do tend to become an advocate of the products I use if I find them useful, but if it’s a product I use a lot (such as my smartphone, and to a lesser extent my tablet), I definitely have a list of “shortcomings” and areas where I see the need for improvement. However, I also vote with my with dollars, ultimately, and buy the device that overall meets my needs the best, even with its limitations. Re: the lack of Flash, for example, I definitely agree it would be nice to have, but for me it’s not critical at this point. I think it’s a positive for tablets and phones that have the option, though, and I think it is clearly a positive among many others for RIM on PlayBook.

    • Tim, I have to say you are very reasonable, but most apple devotees are not. While Blackberry has its fair share of avocates they are going to say why they like BB better, but few if any suffer under the illusion that that their phone is better on every dimension. Apple people tend to think, or at least say this is the case.

      I became so exasperated with this illusion and with the company itself that I have sumped all of my apple products, which included just about every product the company has produced except stupid once like apple TV.

      The iPad was the final straw for me. I went to Best Buy picked it up and said OMG why would anyone purchase this product which is so heavy you cannot hold it in one had for long, and so it must be placed in the lap, where it is obviously inferior to a laptop. In short there is no use for the product. Everything that can be done on an iPad can be done on a laptop and indeed whenever you see someone with an ipad it is inevitably on a table rather than being held in the had. The iPad IMO is the hoax of the century.

      For those that think the iPad is substantially lighter than a laptop, sorry but no. it may be lighter than Apple laptops, but my Sony Vaio Z is almost as light as the iPad AND is can run circles around my iMac!

      From that day I said I’ve had it with apple. I had an iPhone but dumped that over a year ago and went back to BB. Still I was prepared to keep my apple products except for the arrogance of the company and its CEO. Also I have to say a major factor was also Win 7 which is a superior OS (for me) than OSX.

      I am looking forward to the playbook for two very simple reasons. It seems to have a proper OS (with full browser and productivity programs – I’m not going to call them apps) AND it is lightweight enough and small enough to have advantage over carrying a laptop.

      • I’m still new to BB, so I don’t much about the average profile of a BB user, but I do know that I, plus the other two BB users with whom I rather constantly chat on BBM (one of the lovely things about BB’s in my opinion), are as you describe: we know why we like BB better, but we aren’t under any illusion that they are somehow flawless or somehow superior on every dimension to other offerings. Both of them switched from Android, and I switched from an iPhone 4. They both miss a few things about their old handsets, and I miss a little about my iPhone 4 (chiefly, the superior iTunes syncing; for some reason BlackBerry Desktop Manager takes a lot longer to sync the same music and photos and doesn’t sync video without unnecessarily re-encoding it, which is why I merely drag and drop videos now).

        But in the end, we all chose BB for our own specific reasons, and we are happy with our choice.

        Re: your experience with the iPad is a little different from mine. I actually do carry mine everywhere using this nicely designed iPad-specific sling pack, and I find I use it in places I would NOT use a similarly sized/weighted netbook (for example, walking from my car back to the office). I don’t find I use it *one-handed*, but I do find I use it walking and/or in other scenarios where I couldn’t imagine using a netbook without some odd contraption that would hold up the netbook.

        That being said, part of my initial interest in the PlayBook was also the smaller, sometimes-even-pocketable, 7″ form factor. For me personally, I have invested a small but non-trivial amount of funds into iOS apps (from back when I had an iPhone) that I find extraordinarily useful (chiefly, iTap RDP, RealVNC, both of which are used to connect to my company servers), that I am glad to “get back” with my recent iPad purchase. That means I am likely to keep *a* iOS device indefinitely. However, I never keep let that keep me from completely jumping ship if I find another platform clearly superior (for me). For example, I probably had $150+ invested in PalmOS (classic) apps, which is part of why I initially went with the Palm Pre rather than any other platform — that plus I was a big Palm devotee, having been a longtime customer — however, once I became frustrated with the slow, laggy, stuttering, not-ready-for-prime-time WebOS 1.x experience, I jumped ship to iPhone 3GS and stayed in iOS-land until very recently with the switch to BB.

        I do think that people unnecessarily identify sometimes with a brand; I *do* like Apple, but I am not bound to all their devices or platforms (I’ve been using PCs since before Windows, and started using Windows with version 3.0), and being a technology geek overall, I like trying new platforms to see if they suit me better. I eyed Symbian a few years ago; though I have not owned any Android devices yet, I *assume* I will at some point in the future, though it’s not in my immediate purchase list, just merely based on the reality that it seems they will continue to be a big platform and I will probably see some device that I think is “cool” and want.

  25. Well, this topic seems to have brought a lot of people out of the woodwork. Oddly, I notice that many of them are not registered or newcomers. I’ll assume (perhaps wrongly) that these are non-Blackberry users. This is actually a good thing. It seems that many people outside the Blackberry community have a negative impression of the Blackberry brand. I have 2 iPhone users in my house and constantly hear them complain about how uncool my phone is and how limited it is. Strangely, I have even heard how awful they consider the keyboard. I suppose a lot of things are subjective. Personally, I find that even though the iPhone has a bazillion apps, it is in many ways more limited than my Blackberry. I dislike ALL touchscreen keyboards.

    When it comes right down to it, it’s a simply matter of buying the right phone for you. That may not be the same phone that is right for me or the next guy.

    I do think that RIM needs to really step up their marketing to help break the perception that non-Blackberry users have that Blackberry is an Enterprise device and is uncool and limited. If they can do that, then they should be able to remain a significant player in the market. The Playbook looks like it should be the device to break those misconceptions, but we’ll have to see how things pan out over the next year.

    • “When it comes right down to it, it’s a simply matter of buying the right phone for you.”

      ….or the phone that Apples tells you is right for you :)

    • I don’t find any onscreen keyboards that are as convenient as a real physical QWERTY keyboard, as on my Torch, but I did find that the virtual keyboard on the iPhone was way better than any of the others I’ve tried on others’ phones.

      It really is subjective, of course. :)

  26. Balsillie is drinking Kool-Aid on his mixed message and mixed strategy:

    1) Playbook Apps: Why would a develop build Blackberry Tablet OS apps when the Playbook will run Android 2.3 apps? A developer will continue to build Android apps and save money in development costs.

    2) Business Case studies are littered with failed product launches. Apple’s iPad products strategy is starting to look similar to iPod. There were dozens of music player launches to compete with iPod (i.e. MS Zune, Samsung Yepp, Sony Walkman mp3). However, none offered the features or price point significantly different from iPod. Apple iPod won. I see the same this happening with tablets. Apple will dominate with iPad and other tablet will be fighting for the rest of the scraps on the table.

    3) Native email client, I don’t think this is a big issue. In large cities, there are plenty of wifi hotspots.

    4) My biggest complaint is about not being able to have QNX OS in blackberry phones until 2012. This will continue the rapid erosion of NA market share from which RIM will not recover. The competition is not sitting still. RIM has no halo phone on the market like HTC EVO or Motorola Atrix. And nothing to match iPhone 4 or upcoming iPhone 5.

    • On point 4, I think there is a good case to be made that they will never recover their market-leading position, but I also think it’s quite possible that they could freeze their loses when the new QNX-powered smart phones are released next year. I for one am a later comer to BlackBerry — I had several Palm Treos, a Palm Pre, an iPhone 3GS and a iPhone 4 until this year when I swapped out the iPhone 4 for a BlackBerry Torch — and I am likely to stick with BB through this year and next.

    • I hear what you are saying and I agree that QNX earlier would be better, but let’s just see what unfolds.

      I can tell you one thing, if you click on over TAT you will find a company that is clearly ahead if not far ahead of apple and android in terms of user interface and really let’s face it, what makes apple cool is not the power of their phones its the user interface (plus marketing).

      What I am saying is I would not count RIM out because in the long run it seems they will likely have a beautiful user interface combined with some of the best made hardware out there.

      Also don’t forget those that left Blackberry are by definition switchers, give them something of beauty and they’ll just as easily switch back. The negatives on RIM rely on the rather erroneous assumption that they are not able to compete on UI or OS, given TAT and QNX we know this to be untrue. The other would be loyalty to Andriod phones and I can’t see that either.

      • I agree with this statement to a large extent: “what makes apple cool is not the power of their phones its the user interface (plus marketing).”

        I think that the market shows that that is a smart strategy, because it has helped Apple move a lot of iPhones, iPods, and iPads. :) It *is* part of the reason I really like my iPod Classic, why I liked my iPhone when I had it, and why I like my iPad; that plus the fact that I have found in my experience them to be rather reliable and less prone to freezes than some other similar devices I’ve owned. (My iPhone 3GS with 3.x was the most stable smartphone I’ve owned.)

        I think RIM really has a beautiful, “cool” product in the PlayBook, and the ability to run Android (granted 2.3) apps just made them “cooler”. The QNX-powered OS is very strong, and the UI looks quite slick to me from what I’ve seen in the videos. I *do* think that can help sway some serious attention once the product is launched and people see them out and about. I have a young friend who just turned 19 who saw a post a FaceBook “share” link I put up on the PlayBook a few months ago, and he flat out told me, “I want one of those!” He is hardly a tech geek, or knows anything or cares anything about “Flash”, specs, etc., but he just thinks it “looks cool.” Whether folks like it or not, marketing is important, and it’s that kind of “wow, that’s cool!” mindshare that RIM needs to gain in the minds of Joe Consumer.

        I can’t wait for QNX to make into to BB smartphones, as like I’ve said, I’m highly likely to be still be with BB at that point. Indeed, I am actually even likely to buy one of the 2011 BB’s running OS 6.1, as one of the things I’m not particularly crazy about on my Torch is the slider; it is likely I will snag one of those lovely Bold Touches, as I miss the “always there” simplicity of my first BlackBerry, the entry-level Curve 8520.

    • Armchair. I am confused on where you see the mixed messages and mixed strategy…With regards to your issues.

      1. I don’t think Balsillie has ever indicated someone should invest resources into developing for both. I think any sensible person would obviously think its a good idea to develop for one and port to another as opposed to developing two completely different apps….

      2. I disagree. The IPod had years and year on the market without competition from a company that could even come close to the marketting strategy. I am talking several years here. One could even argue that a competitor never actually emerged from an advertising point of view. The IPad had 1 year…. 1 year thats it of exclusive advertising. I think that is a huge difference. Look at already the Samsung Tab and XOOM ads. Just wait until you see the Playbook ads…..The two situations are nothing alike.

      3. If its not a big issue.. where is the mixed message/strategy?

      4. I don’t think you can make that statement until we see how OS 6.1 works with the updated hardware. Who knows, 6.1 with the update hardware may even temper the crazed need for QNX. If you listen to the comments by Balsille, 6.1 is an overhaul, not an incremental update. The hardware is a huge leap… huge.. from what is out today. PS….. please don’t reference the IPhone 5…. no one even knows whats going to be in the phone!

  27. This subject got alot of people talkin’, didn’t it? Staying on top of it all. By the way; PLAYBOOK ALL THE WAY!!!

  28. Ah, but RIM does have many Blac
    kBerry smartphones, including QNX phones over the horizon that either match or exceed the other smartphones in specs and surpass them on functionality – in other words: there going to add sizzle to the steak. Keep up the good work RIM.

  29. A good article. The apps are coming, email is not a real issue, and price will take care of itself. If it is too high, it will come down to move inventory. I have said this before: people will pay for quality. If your like many of us, and have a little patience, you can always wait for the next model to emerge and buy the one that has just been rendered “obsolete”. Has the iPad become a piece of junk now that the iPad 2 has emerged? A lot of people got them for Christmas and were pretty happy campers.

    • I’ll say this: it’s entirely up to the buyer to choose what he or she likes and wants.

      I have nothing against folks buying the iPhone, but for me, I find it doesn’t do the things I need it to do as well as a BlackBerry. For others, they may think otherwise, but everyone has their own list of priorities and reasons why they prefer one device over another. Choice is good!!! Competition forces evolution!

      I would buy an iPad if RIM didn’t produce a PlayBook and if the Android tablets weren’t going to really count. I think the Xoom is the only worthwhile Android tablet, but I won’t buy one because the PlayBook is so much better (even if it wasn’t going to run Android apps).

    • If I had to guess, an iPad 3 will arriving around this time next year….just as I expect to see another iPhone. It’s like clockwork.

  30. No technology is universally appreciated. Let them keep their Kool-Aid

    • As a blackberry user who can tell you exactly why I own a blackberry, its just frustrating some times because its not just kool aid, but massive amounts of kool aid.

  31. BTW Ronen that is a great picture. I’m not sure if it’s meant to symbolize the playbook as underdog, or iPad users that think they rule the world when they actually have a little toy, but in either case great pic. :-)

  32. Hey, guys I took my own advice and went over to TAT’s website. Not much new except the line “We are now designing and developing user interfaces for the blackberry ecosystem.” Nothing new here as well except combine this with Jim B’s statement that carrier’s “jaws dropped” when they say OS 6.1 and it makes me think that TAT might have done some great stuff for the new phones.

    Really 6.1 probably really is an evolution but with a TAT redesign of the UI and faster chips it could really be something special. Lets hope so!

  33. You are all tools.

  34. Blackberry will have an Update available when they get the NOC System ported over, so it’s not really a disability… I think they will sell more when that is taken care of. QNX Is just so much better than any other OS Period!…

  35. I found a really good video on Bloomberg regarding RIM’s stock taking a hit recently. I find it funny that even an investor who outlines why he keeps an outperform rating on RIM can’t seem to convince the anchors. He arguments a common sense. RIM has seen continues growth…..stop thinking of the world as just North America (especially the United States), 70 percent of RIM’s revenue come from outside North America and they have a strategic advantage over the competition. The cellular market is not about RIM vs Apple…..there is enough space for both. Notice in the video how the anchors keep trying to push Apple vs RIM. Check out the video I think it goes to the point I commented on earlier. People need to stop letting company tell them how to think. I hate to sound like a hater but Apple fans are the worse at this. They are a great company but they also have a lot of flaws just like RIM……at least RIM owners are willing to admit where we need to improvements in. Check out the video I think its worth your time. Also BerryReview how do I send in tips?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_zKbvbqXOM

    • Thanks, but I can’t even bring myself to watch a clip with stupid journalists on it. Cable has destroyed the news business in the US (maybe elsewhere). Everything news is now entertainment. They want Apple vs. RIM because that’s entertainment.

      Even the wars the US is in, which should be treated as somber are served up as entertainment. I stopped watching CNN and the other cable news networks years ago.

      The thing people have to remember is that a company’s day to day stock price has little or no impact on how the company operates. In the long term there is some importance, but not daily fluctuations and certainly losing 10% of the value of your company because you offer lower quarterly guidance is beyond reality. The value of the company is it’s people, it’s product, it’s plans and it’s ability to execute on the plans.

      I think there is a fear that RIM is the next Nokia, but the facts are just not there to back that up. It is true that RIM needs better phones quick but i think the point is they get that. The acquisition binge they’ve gone on recently indicates they get it. Nokia on the other hand did very little when things went bad.

  36. Okay, I’ll start something new:

    How Apple & Google Made RIM Better

    1. It’s about the competition. RIM didn’t have any in the early 2000s. Where were the so-called giants of the industry? Microsoft? Palm? HP? RIM was having trouble keeping up with demand for always on, always connected BlackBerrys while the competition was picking their noses.

    2. Okay, so RIM dropped the ball a bit and let the competition into the game in 2006. Not quite true. If you look back you’ll find that RIM was just getting over the fight of their lives from a ridiculous legal challenge by NTP, a bogus lawsuit if you ever saw one. They won over $612 million in March 2006 — they should have got $0. RIM wasn’t asleep at the wheel, they were just blindsided with rubbish.

    3. While RIM was distracted the competition was busy. Enter Apple & Google into the foray in 2007. RIM looked at what the competition had done, and it was good. They looked at the concept of a non-stylus touchscreen, no physical keyboard, and a sexy graphical UI. They looked at their aging OS platform and recognized that something had to be done.

    4. While they were getting the minds around the challenge, they stumbled by releasing the Storm too soon with OS 4.7. OS 5.0 was much more stable. Fortunately, they didn’t bet the bank on it and still had a solid base of users hooked on the Bold and the new Curves. One thing that was revealed was that they needed to evolve the product.

    5. RIM needed to bridge the gap with OS 6 till they found built a new core OS platform. Would it be Android?

    6. OS 6 did give them a bit of life, but they recognized it wouldn’t last.

    7. Enter QNX. An ultra powerful OS platform specifically designed for ultra low power devices with very few resources. QNX was a tiny but very successful company with a team of rather talented developers from a small city hidden from the radar of the big guys. QNX was small but their products were far reaching from the smallest devices to the largest Internet routers to the most complex nuclear generating systems.

    8. The tablet platform was the easiest to build as it was entirely new. From there, RIM could scale it to run on their smartphones. After all, Apple was selling a ton of these iPads. Apple had found a real niche for folks who just wanted to suck content off the Internet, for entertainment or just for information.

    9. RIM showed the PlayBook in its infancy to developers: this is really what a tablet should be — a smaller & more portable form factor, dual core 1GHz processors, 1 GB RAM, and a super efficient symmetric multi-processing (SMP) engine inside!

    Hey guys, don’t you see that RIM is building something special here:

    (a) the fastest OS core with the smallest latency thanks to its real-time operating system (RTOS) heritage!

    (b) a great core of developers from QNX who can build super efficient and reliable systems.

    (c) a wonderful group of talented UI folks from TAT who will help build the next generation UI for the next generation BlackBerrys.

    (d) BBM and BBM Video for all (yes, Android and iPhone included). Now, you will really see BBM reach critical mass and dominate!!! The world wants BBM but they like their iPhones and Androids — so be it! It’s a win-win for RIM.

    10. What’s next? We will have to wait and see. There is certainly a lot of work to be done yet in getting the new smartphones fitted with a QNX engine.

    So, for those doomsayers, RIM may have stumbled a couple of times but they haven’t fallen and they haven’t dropped the ball yet.

    For me, I’m putting my driving gloves on and I’m getting set for a wild ride in 2011 & 2012. This will be fun :) Hee Haaaaw!

  37. Good and insightful article! I have been hanging back waiting to see where the tablet wars would go. The Playbook is the first to tempt me.

  38. QNX can run up to 32 cores. Nuff said. *drops mic, and walks away*

  39. Thanks for your article! I’ve been waiting on pins and needles for the PlayBook.

  40. Ronen Halevy, you said it, on behalf of all of us. Thank for the great article.

    BB truly knows what it’s doing.

  41. you make some good points about the play book and what it brings to the table. I agree with you that it is built for a different market.
    I am confused though about the “bridging” and getting my email on the play book.
    does this mean that I link it via wi-fi to my blackberry and will see exactly the email format on the playbook as I see it on the black berry?

    thanks

  42. Yeah, dude.

    You’re wrong.

    I actually OWN this freaking thing and it is doing nothing but pissing me off.

    Blackberry has no idea what it’s doing in this market.

    • Apple troll!

      • wow.

        You don’t own the thing do you? Ever used it? No? Damn, well, you will understand when you do. If you ever do. IF Blackberry keeps on making them.

        Does your mom know your up on the computer so late?

        • I own one, there are things I love about it and things I don’t, what complaints do you have if you don’t mind me asking…

          • My wife purchased one for me on my birthday a couple of days ago and I’ve experienced nothing but frustration with the thing.

            I don’t own a blackberry, I have my work phone (I was lucky enough to score a new G2x when it was released) and my personal iPhone 4. (and yeah, I own an iPhone, I know a lot of people are going to hate me for it… so what)

            The first thing I wanted to do with the Playbook was download a PDF of one of my favorite books, “The Fountainhead” by Ayne Rand. Download was successful, awesome. Using Adobe to read it… not so much. If I want to read the book I either have to NEVER EVER close adobe OR write down what page I was on so that when I pick it up again I can scroll to the correct page.

            No biggie.

            So I create a Spreadsheet, I’m pretty good at excel, but I’ve never experienced the torcher of having to re-enter every. single. formula. over and over and over again to make even the most basic of tables work. It took a little bit of time, but I finally got it down.

            Figured out how to take a screen shot of the thing (there is NO way of sharing your spreadsheets on the Playbook) to send to my boss. Cool. Went to fire up Gmail and absolutely could NOT upload a thing. No problem, I’ll just sync the photos with my laptop right? Wrong.

            After double checking to make sure I had the correct blackberry desktop software on my laptop, and the latest version of the OS on my Playbook I still couldn’t sync files. Searched for HOURS online for a way to share photos and STILL couldn’t do it. Bluetooth, Wifi, mass storage, BB desktop manager, all to no avail.

            I ended up taking a picture of the freaking screen with my iPhone and emailing it to my boss.

            The machines a joke. I have had bad experience after bad experience with Blackberry phones, and why I ever decided to ask for one of these for my birthday is beyond me. I’ve had it. I don’t want to waste my time waiting for updates to come. I want a device that works NOW.

            Great screen, awesome camera, pretty fast, the browser is LIGHTNING, but if I can’t use this “professional” tablet for anything other than browsing the web I don’t want it.

          • ps… I know I’m a bit abrasive in some of these comments, I’m just so unbelievably pissed off about this stupid device right now.

            • Hey bud, I owned an iPhone … the absolutely f-ing worst year of my life! Best you like yours.

              Only difference is I didn’t bother going on an iPhone site to bitch about it.

              BTW I sync photos, upload and download spreadsheets not a single problem. Hope your boss doesn’t find out!

              Only thing about Adobe is you can’t add comments which I don’t like.

              Take it back and get an iPad it’ll suit your iSheep personality.

              In case you haven’t figured it out yet, you are not going to get any sympathy here especially with so many Playbook users who aren’t havening any of the problems you are.

        • I own one, in fact 2, absolutely love it. I can say without a doubt it is the most enjoyable electronic gadget I’ve ever owned.

          Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, you’ve stated yours. Please move on…

        • They say when you use Apple products, you instantly become so stupid that you can even do simple tasks like chew gum and drive a riding lawnmower. So sad they had to put him in the nutward.

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