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Tablets That Aspire to be Like The iPad 2 Lack Ambition


If there is one thing that Apple does right beyond everything else is marketing/PR. For example, I had one user telling me yesterday that Apple requiring iTunes was a feature. While disabusing this poor man twisted perspective on the whole tablet market I thought I would share what I titled “Tablets that aspire to be like the iPad 2 lack ambition.” (hat tip to Timothy Leary)

If you have been reading the press and analysts take on the iPad 2 especially when compared to the BlackBerry PlayBook you would think the device was made of gold and hailed the JesusPad. It truly amazes me how Apple’s successful marketing and product promotion has molded herds of followers. These are the same followers that until two years ago told us “who needs copy and paste?” or until last year said “why do we need multitasking?” Don’t get me wrong the iPad 2 has many things going for it like a strong developer base, solid accessory line, simplicity, and intuitive operation but on the other hand you cannot simply ignore its flaws.

So I thought I would share some reasons on why the iPad and the iPad 2 are a bad measuring stick for a solid tablet. This article is not targeted at the Apple faithful but rather the undecided who are hearing about how the iPad 2 unquestionably trumps the competition. There are certain things that Apple sweeps under the rug that nobody seems to care about due to the “Magical” nature of the device. You can then compare them to the complaints fielded against the PlayBook and tell me how they measure in your eyes. So here is my list of why the “Magical” iPad is not the ideal tablet we want the BlackBerry PlayBook, or any other tablet, to aspire to:

Ooooh Baby I love your Proprietary Dongles and Cables

RIM and Android tablets and smartphones have been really good about doing away with proprietary cables. Gone are the days you needed a headphone adapter and charging dock… unless you have an Apple product. No HDMI cable without a dongle and iTunes requires the classic Apple dock connector. Seriously didn’t these guys learn anything from the Treo? Did Cupertino miss the memo on MicroUSB? I realize some long time Apple users might see this as a plus for having the 30 pin dock connectors lying around but if you read Apples “Thoughts on Flash” explaining why proprietary is bad you kind of wonder if Apple realizes the hypocrisy.

Multitasking Like its the 1980s

Apple for some oddball reason is a firm believer that users cannot handle true multitasking. Don’t get me wrong you will hear iOS defenders clamoring how iOS 4 finally added Quasi-Multitasking and how that is “magical” but who are we kidding? The new “Magical” multitasking is limited to Audio, VoIP, Location, Local notifications, Complete tasks, and “Fast app switching” whatever that means. Talk about a forward thinking OS that all tablets should aspire to. Want to buffer a YouTube video while doing something else? No luck you will have to stare at that evil spinning wheel. Think you can run a chat, social networking, or IM client in the background? Only with caveats that require “push notifications.” Which leads me to..

Are they popup ads or notifications?

Whenever I see Apple’s compromise for “notifications” in iOS it makes me wonder where all the UI designers went. To call them “inelegant and disruptive” is an understatement. Running an IM app like Google Talk in the background in “Quasi-multitasking” world? That means you will see a new popup every time you get a new chat message. Very forward thinking just like if you…

Want to play your DIVX, XVID, AVI, etc files? Look elsewhere…

One of the things that always baffled me about Apple is that it almost seems like they are trying to make a market for video transcoders. They simply refuse to support any of the standard high compression formats other than their specific H.264 video encoding and don’t even try to throw any 1080p video content on it. Thats for games only for some odd reason. I guess the HDMI dongle is for older pre 1080p TVs to play games while it is connected by a cable? If you are an audiophile with FLAC and OGG files I would look elsewhere too. I realize that Apple is heavily invested in the movie industry along with selling videos and TV shows through iTunes but once again this is another limitation Apple places on customers that does not benefit customers.

The iTunes Ball and Chain:

I actually had the honor of having a colleague explain to me yesterday how iTunes was a “feature.” I had to really work hard to hold myself together. Apple’s iTunes is the AOL of the 21st century. Its is some of the most bloated software around and the beloved iPad is useless without it when you take it home. Last time I checked the first thing you need to do when you buy one is plug it into iTunes. You will also need iTunes for OS updates, Synchronization, and backup. We thought RIM was really old school in how they do wireless OS updates but the iTunes+iPad combo is an unnecessary ball and chain. While I realize many users appreciate the simplicity of iTunes and that it simply works it just seems like a “Magical” device should be able to be “Magical” without requiring a desktop program.

We don’t need no stinking Flash!

There is a reason Flash is installed on 99% of desktops. While some people have swallowed the Apple Kool-Aid without question you have to ask how this benefits users. I won’t go into the pros and cons of Flash since I am not a huge proponent for many reasons but to simply say it is not necessary… Just imagine if tomorrow Steve Jobs announced that the iPad 2 will support Flash. I can already see the droves of fanboys telling me how wonderful Flash is.

Old school cameras! We have your dual old school cameras!

Apple really went cutting edge with their “HD” back camera at 720p and VGA front camera. I guess users are so happy Apple finally added something they can live with cameras that were standard on phones 3+ years ago…

Nothing sounds better than a Mono Speaker

While it is understandable that phones have Mono speakers it doesn’t really make for a cutting edge video watching experience on a “HD” screen. I guess that is part of the “Magic”?

Scratch Scratch – Hey a New iPad came out

Even with the new “Magical smart covers” you have to admire how “scratch-able” Apple makes the aluminum of their devices. Even the new protective “Smart-cover” scratches the side of the iPad 2 though it has rubber bumpers to protect it from that. Users are also reporting that the proprietary dock cable scratches the aluminum due to the sloped design. But hey these users can always count on a new one to come out in a year and hope to resell their scratched up device.

This list could go on and on but it still baffles me that people hold the iPad 2 as the “holy grail” of  what tablets should be. I didn’t even touch on topics like the laughable security and lack of free native/included office (word, excel, powerpoint) apps. To sum it all up the iPad is nowhere near the perfect tablet yet it has achieved “untouchable” status by many reviewers. I do easily concede that there are many things that Apple simply does “right” on their version of the tablet for their market but to assume it is the end goal for all tablets is ridiculous. Its not that these flaws are deal breakers but they do go to show why even the iPad has a way to go.

Let me know what you think in the comments!

55 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. Love it! Nice article Ronen!

  2. Ronen-
    Its nice to see someone with a brain and a voice when speaking about Apple products. I wonder if Dan Frommer will comment on this. He seems to have one of the loudest anti-PlayBook voices out there. Too bad for him, he doesn’t have a brain and will give reasons not to buy the PlayBook such as “the iPad is better”. While I am sure the iPad is fun, you hit a bunch of points that one should carefully consider before buying. I am rooting for RIM to stand out with the PlayBook. And personally, I will try a few tablets out later this spring. May the best tablet (that suits my need) win.

  3. I was in Best Buy Sunday just to look at the Samsung Galaxy Tab just to get an idea for the size of the Playbook. I was able to check it out right away while I noticed the iPad 2 had several people waiting to check it out. I didn’t bother. The iPad 2 isn’t worth waiting in line to check out. I’m definitely going to purchase the Playbook but if I couldn’t I would purchase the Galaxy over the iPad 2 any day of the week. I really enjoyed playing Angry Birds on it.

  4. totally agree!

  5. 2 thumbs up!

  6. Nice post, and especially helpful that you named your target audience.

    Let’s face it – die hard fans of *any* platform aren’t going to switch any time soon (but we love debating the points with no hope of changing anybody’s mind, for some reason :D)

    Because the tablet market is only just ramping up, there are going to be a lot of folks out there who are just looking for objective information about their options.

    For Android there are many relatively objective viewpoints to be found. But for iPad, the real question is how to get these these on-the-fencers to find their way over to this site for a look at the “other side” of the iPad magic.

    You might find any one or two of the items you listed in one place above somewhere, but finding a comprehensive list is very difficult. And even when you can find these individual problems, they’re typically mentioned in an offhand/not-very-important-anyway manner. (Usually accompanied with a variation of “but it’s not a deal-breaker”.)

  7. I’m still undecided between ipad2 or playook, though still in favor of a playbook. But now when you put it that way, my tendency toward playbook is even stronger. I just hope it does not dissapoint when it finally launcehd.

  8. Totally agree. My aunt has the iPad and when I was over at her house, I picked it up to play with. After 10 minutes I had discovered that virtually every website I utilize is dependent on flash, both my work email, the games I play, and the sites where I read sports scores, etc. I told her how nice it was and put it away because for me it was only useful as a paperweight.

  9. thanks for this article, after reading many anti-RIM blogs it is nice to read pro-RIM, thank you, and thanks RIM for playbook

  10. this is pro-RIM with reason, PCworld just so stupid writing anti-RIM blogs without concrete reason

  11. Thanks Ronen

    • Agreed. Thanks ronen. I forward your articles to everyone I know interested in mobile tech. Its a breath of fresh air. I think one of the core differences between bllackberry sheep and isheep is our self awareness about the pros and cons of the device.

      Although I must admit it is nice to be on top of the game for once with the playbook.

      Finally us bb fan boys have a voice and something to gloat about.

      Here’s to more of this in the future.

      Its a good time to be a blackberry

  12. It is amazing the way the media will overlook huge flaws with the iPad but nitpik when it comes to the Playbook. Even the slightest issue (lack of native email, etc)and they deem the Playbook DOA.

    I suppose we could consider that RIM is held to a higher standard than Apple a good thing. I reminds me of kids coming home from school with report cards. A smart student might hear “Only a B, Timmy. I know you can do better than that”. A less than stellar student might come home and hear “Hey, you got a C, Johnny. Keep up the good work”. It looks like RIM is the good student and Apple is in remedial classes.

  13. I have to disagree with a lot of this post. I am an iPad 2 user and and was an iPad 1 user since about a month after the device was released. I am also a blackberry user and have been for many years. I love my blackberry.

    But I have to say that I love my iPad 2 as well. The new version is what the original should have been in my mind but regardless I loved the first one also. I actually use it for 90% of my computing now. My laptop never gets used and my desktop only for major rendering or things like that. Otherwise the iPad does everything and goes everywhere with me. I actually run my business with it and know quite a few folks that are “power user types” like myself.

    I am very excited to see the Playbook when it gets launched, finally. I think RIM needs it to be a huge success and it very well may be. However needing to have a blackberry to use the device for main tasks is insane. That takes it off my list right away and many others I am sure. Granted that will change in the next version they say…. It remains to be seen when and how it will then work..

    I think the iPad 2 is the leader of the pack for a reason. It works. Just like RIM was the leader of the pack years ago with blackberry because it just worked.

    Flash I don’t miss and use the app Iswifter when I need it for some reason. Proprietary cables? Not much of an issue for me with 10 hour battery life, wireless everywhere, dropbox and 3G access without the need to tether.

    I am not a fanboy by any stretch, and am not blind to the Apple marketing. However after using the iPad for one week almost a year ago, I can say my computing usage changed majorly and I have looked back.

    • Hi Gameboy.

      If the ‘main tasks’ you are referring to are email, calendar and contacts, those will all be available sans BB after a (wireless) software update, as confirmed via a Verizon webinar:

      From what I understand about iSwifter, the free app only enables flash games. That’s fine for you as I assume by your name, you enjoy gaming. :)

      For those iPad users who actually want to enjoy the web as it is meant to be enjoyed, they will have to shell out $2.99 for the iSwifter or Skyfire Browsers. I find it hilarious that so many iPad users say they don’t need flash when I see that Skyfire was, “#1 Top Utility in the US AppStore (Dec 2010) and #1 Top Grossing App in the US AppStore (Dec 2010).”

      There is an undeniable demand for Flash and Adobe has actually come up with a workaround for developers. The program “makes transforming Adobe Flash files into iOS-appropriate HTML5 as easy as drag and drop.”,2817,2381329,00.asp
      Sounds like an unnecessary hassle to me.

      • ISwifter does websites as well. I actually don’t play games at all.

        I use Flash for Restaurant websites occasionally when I have too and video content in a pinch. But most of the time it is encoded for the iPad just fine.

        I think flash is something a lot of folks need. Not so much me but true.

    • “It works”??? Seriously….. Really…..really????

      Thank you for that insight.

      • Wow. I was just using the example that RIM has used for years regarding there devices. They just work. Same with the iPad.


        • Yes but you said that the Ipad is the “leader of the pack”. I don’t think any Blackberry fan boy, and for sure not RIM, has ever said that blackberries are the “leaders of the pack.” At least not for the last several years.

          One may prefer the pros/cons of a BB over others because “it just works,” but saying it “leads the pack” is a different thing.

          Not touchy.. just specific

          • True. But how many times have you read on blogs or tech reviews that folks love blackberry because it just works. Doesn’t crash, performs well, great battery, rock solid, and just works. That is the same thing I feel about my iPad, as well as my blackberry.

            Corporations and civilians loved blackberry because it was also a rock solid platform. Granted it has been surpassed in many areas and I look forward to 6.1 and 7.0, plus the new devices. It was the leader of the pack for a long time. Apple has been the leader as well based on sales and developer support. Will it change? Perhaps.

            I look forward to finding out. All I know is that a table, currently an iPad 2, is doing wonders for my workflow.

          • That may be because… Erm, ipad *does* lead the pack right now.

            In a year or five, who knows. But at the moment, iPad is outselling all the other tablets combined; while RIM’s isn’t even released. Whether or not you like it (I’ve played with it and don’t really), you can’t argue with the numbers: millions of people bought it and don’t feel limited by it.

            We talk about the reality distortion field, but keep in mind that it applies both ways. Whenever someone gets rabidly fanatic about *any* product, otherwise rational people seem to lose the ability to appy logic and reason. (It just so happens there are a lot of rabid ipad fanatics calling attention to themselves by doing things like waiting 8 hours+ in line at the moment :D)

            • Oops – I meant “like it or not” in regards to “like the ipad or not”.

            • I guess its subjective as to what one means by “leader of the pack.”

              I think it refers to a leader in performance, UI and price point. Its a multi faceted approach.

              The Honda Civic may sell the most amount of cars, but, by no means is it the consensus best product.

              Ferrari, Lamborgini, Mercedes, BMW etc., don’t sell the most cars in the world, but, they are the best cars.

              To that point, I don’t feel sales numbers of the Ipad mean anything other than oustanding marketting of a decent product.

    • Have to say I LOVE it when apple people say “the new version was really what the first one should have been and are so happy about saying that”

      If RIM ever did that it would be like “What a shitty company putting out crap that they know they are going to upgrade later.”

      I’m just saying….

      As far as leader of the pack, there is one reason for that, it cam to the market first.

      If you enjoy having that title, enjoy it because it won’t last long. I’m not talking Playbook I’m just talking the shear volume of Android tablets that are going to come out. Apple owning the top tablet past one more year is simply impossible.

      • Agreed. Android has tons of options coming and I have no doubt many will be solid. They need more apps I think that use the device size to its advantage and I’m sure many will. I look forward to trying them. Especially the playbook.

      • Coming to market first definitely helped bring it to the front of the pack but I would say the other major factor is development. There are so many apps, something for almost everything.

        That is a big factor. I think Android will get there and having those apps run on the Playbook will be fantastic.

    • Newsflash Gameboy213 you are a fanboy.

      Instead of saying, yes those are limitations but I still like my iPad, you basically deny there is anything wrong with the way Apple is limiting you. You are solidly living in the Apple “hype zone”.

      Finally, you totally ignore the article and spread falsehoods about the product.

      If you have gmail you DO NOT, REPEAT, DO NOT need a BB to access email and calendar. “Oh the insanity!!

      • I am not at all a fanboy. I use windows often and am a RIM user. I don’t think all apple devices are amazing.

        I simply think they got the iPad right, for their market. Just like I hope RIM does with the Playbook. You can’t deny that Apple did a lot right with this device. Not everything but a lot.

      • And I am not ignoring the article…. I thought it was good. I have read this site for years and commented in the past.

        I’m also not spreading falsehoods. Yes a gmail address will allow the native app use but that is all right now. That is extremely limiting if you ask me. Also you need to bridge for many Internet related tasks in the first version. Those aren’t falsehoods.

        I have gmail sure, but I am on exchange for all my work related tasks and it is my main address. I think the next release will fix these issues and I hope it is soon for RIM. I have even recommended the device to a business associate based on his usage needs.

        I am not at all against RIM. I will try it for sure when it is released. I love my blackberry and think this is only good for innovation all are around.

        • I’m not going to answer all you are saying. I only need to say this. You seem totally unaware that Android apps are on the verge (i.e., within a month or two) or surpassing the number of apple apps.

          How is using gmail extremely limiting? Millions of people use gmail and they access it through a browser on their computer.

          If you said a little limiting, I’d buy it (especially since you say you won a blackberry so the whole exchange thing is a none issue for you and for the millions of people who have exchange accounts and blackberries) but to use words like extremely limiting is simply not reasonable, and sure makes you sound like a fanboy, although you maintain you aren’t one.

          And BTW on Microsoft outlook without a BB? there is an app for that too it’s called a browser. I often access my outlook account through a web browser on my Macbook pro (mainly because mac mail sucks).

          • Ok you win. I am an Apple fanboy that only owns two Apple devices, uses a blackberry for years and a windows computer often, that I own.

            You got me. Nailed it.

            There are tons of Android apps, absolutely. I said there weren’t as many as Apple apps and that is true. Also there are more iPad specific apps than large Android device specific apps. Sure that may change but it is true now. I also think in many way the Apple version of the apps seem more polished, but that will change soon as well as the developers have gained more experience on the platform.

            Gmail is limiting because it is ONE email domain. That is it. Sure you can use the browser to get mail, I’m just saying that the first version of the Playbook will make users bridge to a blackberry to use the device fully. Seems like a misstep. I get the security issue for IT but for everyone else it seems like the wrong way to go.

            Rather than point fingers at me for discussing a device that I see value in, why not admit that you simply don’t like Apple or maybe just the ipad for whatever reason. I have no issue with that at all. So why have an issue with me liking the device?

            No where did I say or will I say the iPad is perfect and that all other devices not made by the great Apple blow.

            I said I like the iPad 2 and here is why. Sorry to offer my opinion.

            • Hey gameboy,
              You don’t seem like a apple fanboy because you actually use your head. Can I ask why you think Gmail is limiting? Do you feel like you have to use microsoft mail/outlook or mac osx mail to use windows or mac “fully”?

              I agree that the ipad has many more “apps” but I have yet to hear of the “killer apps” that aren’t just weak excuses for a website. Just look at the top apps (not games) in itunes if you want to see what I mean.

              • Ok RIM community. I am going to be the first one to say it.

                Lets take it easy on these apple fan boys, isheep, itards, whatever you want to call them.

                I know I know. Its been years. Years of us getting joked about, made fun of, pushed to the side. Analysts, pundits and everyone else taking big huge craps on us!

                I know I know. Now that RIM hit the gym, grew huge muscles, lost the acne, we want to beat down the bully. We want to take revenge for our suffering!

                BUT NO!

                I have found it incredibly satisfying and hilarious over the last several weeks seeing the Isheep sramble to justify their Ipad and IOS in general, in the forums and in person. On a whole, while they complain about little baseless things, they are actually overall very quiet.

                They have no real substance or come backs. It is beginning to sink in.

                They are on the verge of not being the coolest kids on the block.

                They are scared, nervous and lashing out unreasonably.

                We need to take a step back, take a deep breath and be the bigger people. Help them realize their mistakes in a constructive way and pray for them at night.

                GO RIM GO!

              • Thanks! I am far from a fanboy. Seriously.

                Gmail is limiting because it is one domain. Any other and you need an application to use email. Sure you can use the browser in many cases but that is what I mean by limiting. I prefer a mail program all day over a browser window to use email This will be fixed in the next Playbook update. But to start it isn’t there.

                As far as apps. I think there are some amazing ones and some that are very useful. I think most people don’t want to spend the money for the better apps.

                Iannotate PDF
                Pocket Informant HD
                LogmeIn or Screens
                DevonThink To Go

                These are just a few. They keep getting better.

                Either way. I love the device and can’t wait to see what the other makers release in the future.

              • Funny you should say that GameBoy. I have three Gmail windows open currently… :) I find using a mail program “Limits” my email because you lose all of the features that make Gmail like Tags and Google Labs.

                Back to the “apps” I tend to do this for most people. Take your list:

                Goodreader – Kind of useless since unlike the iPad the PlayBook comes with a native PDF reader
                Iannotate PDF – Never really annotated a PDF even from a PC but I can see the usefulness. Still what happened to Steve Jobs and his rant about “Adobe Bad!” :)
                WSJ – Ever wonder why nobody uses a WSJ “app” from their desktop?
                ReaditLater – a client for their website…?
                Reeder – another client for the actual Google Reader website which has all the features…
                Zite – Kind of a cool app… Will check it out!
                Pocket Informant HD – The native calendar and tasks really so essential? :)
                LogmeIn or Screens – Totally agree on this one. We need remote desktop apps.
                Pages – FULL office suite comes free on the PlayBook. $30 on the iPad…
                DevonThink To Go – Kind of a cool app but I use Google Docs for this
                iMovie – How much video editing do people actually do on a device?

              • GoodReader – Kind of useless since unlike the iPad the PlayBook comes with a native PDF reader

                -Goodreader is WAY more than a PDF reader. Take a look into it. It is a fantastic app for file management, server access like dropbox, zip file support etc.

                Iannotate PDF – Never really annotated a PDF even from a PC but I can see the usefulness. Still what happened to Steve Jobs and his rant about “Adobe Bad!”

                -true about the adobe thing, but really that was more Flash than adobe. Mac has supported print to PDF forever. This app even allows me to sign docs and I do often.

                WSJ – Ever wonder why nobody uses a WSJ “app” from their desktop?

                -easy answer. Offline support. Download in the and read it anytime anywhere with full support for the application like I am connected to the Internet. Only thing that doesn’t work is the videos. Big difference to just accessing the wsj website.

                ReaditLater – a client for their website…?

                -same answer. Take all you read it later content, or Instapaper if you prefer but use it Offline. Very important for me and others I’m sure.

                Reeder – another client for the actual Google Reader website which has all the features…

                -same answer

                Zite – Kind of a cool app… Will check it out!

                -it is fantastic. Creates a custom newspaper for you over time

                Pocket Informant HD – The native calendar and tasks really so essential?

                -too me it take the native to the next level and that is the real point of it. Syncs wirelessly and allows everything on one screen. Looks fantastic, fast, doesn’t crash and yes to me having a great day planner app is great.

                LogmeIn or Screens – Totally agree on this one. We need remote desktop apps.

                -screens takes the touch gestures and allows you to use them on the computer you are controlling. It is fantastic.

                Pages – FULL office suite comes free on the PlayBook. $30 on the iPad…

                -true. Pages is really good however. I also have docs to go and quick office. I never said paying for quality apps wasn’t going to happen. Haha

                DevonThink To Go – Kind of a cool app but I use Google Docs for this

                -fantastic if you use the desktop version as well.

                iMovie – How much video editing do people actually do on a device?

                -true. But it is impressive if you want to. So is garage band.

              • Take a look at The Altavist too.

            • Good update Gameboy though I didn’t realize that you highlighted some more iOS limitations I forgot to mention in the article. The iPad has no shared file system which means all the files are stored inside the application or on a server. Oh and they cannot sync files in the background due to that pesky “quasi-multitasking.” These are the kind of OS design limitations that make even the current BlackBerry Smartphone OS look space age. I truly did not realize how backward Apple’s thinking was until I read this developer doc:

              Saying: “Few applications should ever need to execute code while in the background. The basic multitasking support provides applications with the ability to remain in the background in a suspended state, thereby preserving battery life. However, applications that provide specific services to the user may ask the system for permission to run in the background so that they can continue providing those services”

              I agree that some of these great apps add an offline capability for the website experience thereby justifying their existence. I guess that will be one of the limitations of the PlayBook at first that it is only truly useful when it is online. Still my laptop is also only really useful when it is online so different strokes for different folks.

              Got any other iPad apps you would highlight? I have some developer friends looking for PlayBook app ideas.

              • The file issue is a limitation. Agreed. However I have gotten very use to the set up and kind of like it. I’m not a major tinkerer so having each file saved in the appropriate application and movable via dropbox is fine for me. However, it needs to be changed for sure.

                I think the syncing will change. Downloads can be started and continue in the background until completed now so I think they may allow the syncing to work in the background as well. Perhaps in Ios5.

                I personally think using the apps mentioned are way better than just browsing their sites. Not all apps make it better but I personally like it. Maybe that is why the iPad works for me.

                Other Apps I use or that I think are pretty impressive:

                Star Walk
                Dragon Dictation
                One Password

  14. Ronen I think you should add a button to this article that allows everyone who comes on here to click the button and send this article to Walt Mossberg!!!

  15. I’m really loving these articles.I’ve been sending links to these articles to all the apple fanboys I consider friends.

  16. @cattonb (it wouldn’t let me reply directly to your “let’s be nice” post above -too nested, maybe): perhaps starting off this new effort of niceness with a page of insults may not be the best direction to take 😉

    Ultimately, keep in mind that we’re not going to change anybody’s mind if that person is committed to a platform [case in point: do you envision you changing your mind and jumping ship to apple? under any circumstance].

    And we’re not going to change the on-the-fencer’s minds by coming across as hostile to anyone who doesn’t think the RIM way; doing so makes us look just as bad as apple and android fanatics.

    • You are right. Its the natural reaction to lash back against them, we need to be better as a community.

      You know I actually do think you can convert people away from a platform. It takes time and patience and an excellent product. That scenario just hasn’t happened yet.

      I have found myself tempted to rip into people, but, I think in the end we can stand confidently behind our chosen platform.

  17. Seems like I can no longer reply to Gameboy but he says about the WSJ app:

    “easy answer. Offline support. Download in the and read it anytime anywhere with full support for the application like I am connected to the Internet. Only thing that doesn’t work is the videos. Big difference to just accessing the wsj website.”

    When are you ever somewhere where you are sitting reading, but off line? I can think of one place, the beach, but you can’t read an iPad outside.

    The point is it’s OK to say these features are nice (I’m sure there will be a WSJ app on Playbook as well, if not on day 1 then soon after) but there is no need to say these little things make the iPad great.

    and BTW the reason you can’t see the videos is your iPad doesn’t have flash, thanks to Apple’s a-hole CEO. Rather than praising the iPad I’d say WTF? why no flash, why limit me from seeing video that I could see if I was on a computer? Why should my tablet be limited in this way?

    It’s a double standard to say wow no email client unforgivable but no flash that’s OK because Steve Jobs told me I didn’t need it.

    Notice that RIM is not saying F-off you are not getting an email client on Playbook, they are saying not yet because we want to deliver a fully secure email solution just like on a BB phone because people expect that of a BB product. There is a big difference, and the fact that RIM is getting bashed while Apps gets praise is really what gets under the skin of people that come to blogs like this.

    • Wow. I didn’t attack anyone here at all….. Simply made a comment about the post like I have in the past here many times.

      I use the WSJ app many places where I don’t have Internet. Planes, subways, cars in rurally areas or when people are away from wifi but don’t have 3G. Hospitals don’t want you to use wireless or 3G, I even have a few friends that dont have wifi at home. There are a lot of places where you won’t have internet access so an app that works offline after grabbing the content earlier makes perfect sense. Simple as that.

      The videos work just fine in the WSJ app that I was talking about, just not offline. It is in app limitation. Pay attention. Flash videos play fine as well just not in safari. I think flash would be nice sure. But as I said I don’t miss it and if I did there are apps that play the sites just fine.

      I am not defending steve and frankly have nothing more to say to you. I think the Playbook will be good and look forward to trying it.

      You seem pretty aggressive for no reason.

      Sure there will be an app for this on Playbook, never said there wouldn’t be. In fact there already is on Android and it is very good, so that would world for RIM out of the box I think.

  18. I applaud Apple on making incremental changes and their fans wanting to spend their time and money lining up. I don’t think its worth it, but how could millions of people be wrong. That as a company you want to see, a strong fanbase means better profit margins no need to undercut price. Ipad is too big for me so I can’t wait to test drive the playbook. But I hope the one thing RIM takes from Apple is that regardless what version of playbook you have it should be eligible for a software upgrade just like the iphones/ipads.

  19. Totally agree with iTunes to AOL analogy. It’s the slowest app on my laptop :(

  20. With the QNX platform and digital 7/ podcast stores I think RIM is on the verge of making a better Itunes – an ITunes where you don’t have to link it to a desktop to download new content and still open apps even while downloading.


    This is everything I had in mind about Apple and its iProducts, down to the AOL analogy!

  22. Technology is a fairly democratic gauge. At the end of 2011, simply count the number of iPad 2 tablets sold vs Playbook.

    Playbook might have better hardware features (except the screen), but the Apple cult don’t care. It’s about the user experience.

    A few years back, Schmidt, Chairman of Google, was asked, “Why is Apple so successful?”
    His response, “For over 20 years, Apple designs products from consumer’s perspective while other companies’ engineers design products to impress other engineers, often with mixed results.”

    Apple products are for non-techies (the majority of the world!).

    So far none of the Android tablets have been a success: Galaxy Tab, Xoom, or Streak.

    As a techie, I hope Playbook is a major success for RIM. However, it will be a niche product.

    • RIM has done well to target the PlayBook at the Enterprise. I want one too, but it is very well suited for the corporate environment. It will do well, and with its built-in security (including BES support) it will be a great sought after mobile thin client in the business realm.

      Personal users like myself will love the connectivity and flexibility the PlayBook offers: WiFi & 3G/4G plus syncing your messages, calendar, etc., and the great number of apps that you expect to have on such a platform: ebook readers like Kobo, Facebook, Twitter, Travel apps, Google Maps, etc. Much, much more to follow here as develops start to sink their teeth into the various PlayBook SDKs.

      Gamers will also be able to have a great mobile platform to develop a variety of killer games that make use of the dual core hardware, very low latency OS with symmetric multi-processing technology, and the fact that the WiFi-only PlayBook as all the GPS and magnetometer sensors that you need.

      Tim, you’re right, Apple knows their customers and takes the time to understand them, and that’s why they appreciate Apple. Some will follow Apple blindly because of it. Apple failed with the Newton Tablet years ago (late 80s) when they built a great device that wasn’t really ready for its time. They’ve learned from that.

      Apple is not perfect, and I think Jobs is becoming too self-confident and self-assured. They have made mistakes, and they’ll continue to make mistakes. Jobs should always leave doors open to provide a 7-inch tablet and perhaps even a 5-inch, if that’s what consumers want.

  23. Tim, you don’t seem to get a big flaw in your logic. For 20 years apple has been designing computers from a consumer perspective yet they still holf less that 10% of the computer market.

    You are right that RIM will hold a nich position in the tablet market, so will Apple just like in PCs.

    When you are hunting for market share predictions don’t look at a year when a company has the only product in it.

    Android phone are as we speak outselling apple so where is product design.

  24. Good job, Ronen. A good read for sure with some strong arguments.

    In your conclusion, however, you do mention that you wonder why the iPad is the Holy Grail. It is. Sorry to say but although we’ve been talking about the PlayBook for 6 months, the iPad/iPad2 really has no competition except perhaps the Moto Xoom.

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