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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 Boze on 4/15/2011 2:19:44 PM , Rating: 2
This is the most emphatically untrue thing I've seen posted here in a long time.

Its no secret that the majority of AnandTech and DailyTech readers are technical users who expect to be able to do a certain amount of tinkering with their devices, but to suggest that Anand would bullshit a review because he's worried about his audience? Now that's a new low.

However... I have to disagree with the iPhone being a hit because it was a hyped Apple device. It was hyped, no doubt, but it was a success because it had the best mobile interface available. In 2003 I had a Motorola V300. It was a pretty good cell phone, and I was able to tinker with it a bit. I picked up a T-Mobile Dash 3 years later. It was pretty amazing, and I liked it more than anything else I'd used. Then I tried a T-Mobile Wing, and that was even better.

The iPhone was light years ahead of the Wing and any other smartphone out there. Sadly, I would argue that the iPhone 4 is still ahead of most other phones out there. The Galaxy S was probably the best competitor up until the iPhone 4, but until there's a phone with a better display, I'd argue its still #1. Just like, sadly, the iPad 2.

The reason you have the rabid anti-Apple contingent here on AnandTech and DailyTech is because Apple is the world's worst when it comes to closed systems, and there's nothing that technical users hate more than closed systems.

RE: Does this surprise anyone?
By Reclaimer77 on 4/15/2011 4:02:51 PM , Rating: 3
iPhone and that stupid pad don't even support Flash. If you support a company that just decides to not support industry standards for no good reason, you're a spongehead.

Forget the fact that's about 60% of the content people use on a daily basis that isn't supported by their mobile devices. But it's an industry standard that Apple just decides they won't support. For whatever arbitrary reason, not even a technical one. Talk about closed systems!

So you're locked into a provider you might not even want, can't view Flash content, can't change the battery, and are locked into iTunes and the App Store...

No thank you.

RE: Does this surprise anyone?
By Pirks on 4/15/2011 4:35:16 PM , Rating: 2
you're locked into a provider you might not even want, can't view Flash content, can't change the battery, and are locked into iTunes and the App Store
These points mean a lot to a geek but not much to an average mass consumer, hence the Apple's success

RE: Does this surprise anyone?
By Reclaimer77 on 4/15/2011 5:42:42 PM , Rating: 2
So only "geeks" research what they buy?

RE: Does this surprise anyone?
By Pirks on 4/18/2011 9:37:15 AM , Rating: 2

"We can't expect users to use common sense. That would eliminate the need for all sorts of legislation, committees, oversight and lawyers." -- Christopher Jennings

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