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RIM Co-CEO Mike Lazaridis (left) shows off the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet.  (Source:
In other news, RIM chiefs form Spin Doctors tribute band

A few days after Research In Motion's first foray into tablet computers, the BlackBerry PlayBook, began garnering less-than-stellar reviews, RIM's co-CEOs are coming out to defend it.

While our review round-up certainly didn't paint a flattering picture of the PlayBook, we did have some bright spots to point out. Meanwhile, a Reuters report this morning began with the following line: "RIM's PlayBook tablet bombed with influential technology reviewers who called the iPad competitor a rushed job that won't even provide RIM's vaunted email service unless it's hooked up to a BlackBerry."

The report also quotes the New York Times' David Pogue's review: "RIM has just shipped a BlackBerry product that cannot do email. It must be skating season in hell."

Not only does the PlayBook lack a dedicated email client, there are also the glaring omissions of calendar and contacts apps.

Bloomberg reports that RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie said criticism of the company’s PlayBook tablet computer "are misguided because they ignore RIM’s base of BlackBerry faithful."

"A lot of the people that want this want a secure and free extension of their BlackBerry," Balsillie told Bloomberg, adding that more than 60 million BlackBerry users can pair their phones and PlayBooks to read e-mail.

RIM shares, which are already down 7.2 percent this year, fell to $53.92 yesterday after the critical reviews.

Co-CEO Mike Lazaridis also defended his new product to Bloomberg, saying that the PlayBook will distinguish itself from the iPad and other worthy competitors through better technology, the same way it did with mobile phones. He cited the tablet's security features, which appeal to business customers. He also boasted about the PlayBook's smaller size, calling it "ultraportable".

"This is superior," he told Bloomberg. "It’s far more portable, it’s lighter in your hands, you can hold it for longer."

And while the spin-doctors try to control the damage, analysts don't expect any miracles from the device. "There’s no doubt the PlayBook has a lot of power," Gartner analyst Michael Gartenberg told Bloomberg. "The question is whether those things will matter to consumers more than the things that the iPad can do, namely with its breadth and depth of applications."

Gartner estimates that the PlayBook could capture 10 percent of the tablet market by 2015, with 47 percent going to Apple's iPad.

For RIM, a lot rests on the success of its tablet offering. The PlayBook has been a long time coming with a lot of pressure resting on its shoulders. Failure could spell disaster for the Canadian company.


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RE: Does this surprise anyone?
By Pirks on 4/15/2011 8:50:27 AM , Rating: 5
Oh, I see some idiots still did not realize it's QNX inside PlayBook, not the BlackBerry OS. Time to get back to the basics again retro :P

RE: Does this surprise anyone?
By Flunk on 4/15/2011 9:14:24 AM , Rating: 2
It doesn't really matter the same arguments can basically be made. QNX for Blackberries (which is going to be Blackberry OS 7) isn't exactly fully baked yet. Anyone who's tried the dev kit for the Playbook can tell you that there are a lot of rough edges.

There's potential, but they shouldn't have rushed this out the door half finished. Lack of an email client essentially makes the Playbook totally worthless. Maybe I should port Thunderbird to Playbook... I guess there isn't really a point because there is no money in it and no one is going to buy a playbook anyway.

RE: Does this surprise anyone?
By mcnabney on 4/15/2011 9:36:07 AM , Rating: 2
QNX: WebOS Boogaloo

/it smells like....Kin

By retrospooty on 4/16/2011 10:51:21 AM , Rating: 2
My point is they suck at UI, usability and flexibility. RIMM has zero to offer other than their once great email service, which anyone can get with any phone for free now.

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