Okay, be honest: How many of you BlackBerry users have iPhone or Android (or even Palm) envy?
The BlackBerry was oh-so-cool, what? Ten years ago? It made you a lean, mean email machine. That was great when businesses get done via emails. But these days, businesses get done via applications. And the truth is, BlackBerry apps suck.
Not only that, but the BB hardware and design haven’t changed much in ages. Same ol’ keypad, same ol’ screen, same ol’ form factor. Where’s the innovation, RIM?
In a move to reinvent itself, RIM scooped up QNX Software Systems. The plan is to replace the BlackBerry OS with QNX. To generate some excitement and buzz about RIM’s future, the PlayBook tablet was announced and slated to arrive in 2011. My opinion about PlayBook fits Jon Evans’ guest blog on TechCrunch, with this intro:
Oh, Research In Motion. You never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.
Diehard BlackBerry fans can’t wait for the arrival of PlayBook. Finally, a tablet made by a business-oriented vendor. Who’d want an Apple iPad or Dell Streak (Android)?
All the while the iPad and Android tablets continue to sell like hotcakes. Enough to put a dent in netbook sales figures.
But the PlayBook will have cameras, tethering (only to a BB, silly!), and Flash support! For some reason fans argue the PlayBook’s superiority by touting its Flash capability. Even though this is marketed as a business-oriented machine? How does Flash support help a business user on a tablet device? And limiting tethering to BlackBerry? Makes no sense, except that RIM is too proud to free the PlayBook.
There’s also a video demonstrating the PlayBook’s impressive browser speed against the iPad. Just keep in mind that this video was produced by RIM. Nobody has played with a PlayBook yet.
RIM is marketing the PlayBook as the most powerful tablet device. Unfortunately, when it is sold in 2011 it will have a long way to go to become the most popular tablet device.
(And if the future of RIM is something like this BlackBerry Empathy mockup, somebody please just hand the CEO a non-BlackBerry phone so he can call somebody who cares.)