RIM PlayBook: Devastating InfoWorld test could signify Waterloo moment

Posted on by Mike Evans

I had hoped that the BlackBerry PlayBook would at last offer some strong competition to the iPad we all know and love. It’s sad, therefore, to read devastatingly negative reviews such as the one by Galen Gruman at InfoWorld: “RIM BlackBerry PlayBook: Unfinished, unusable.” This article pulls no punches and will not be welcome in Waterloo, Ontario, where Research in Motion is headquartered.

It’s been half a year since Research in Motion unveiled its BlackBerry PlayBook tablet based on the QNX operating system. This week, RIM began shipping the 7-inch tablet. After spending a couple days with the final product, it’s clear that the PlayBook is a useless device whose development is unfinished.

Gruman goes on to catalogue the shortcomings of the device, most notably the lack of on-board PIM applications and email:

At the core of it all, the design of the PlayBook as a BlackBerry-dependent device was simply a boneheaded decision by executives who hoped a hit product might entice more BlackBerry sales. Hint: You need to actually deliver a hit product for that strategy to work. The iPad has been around for a year, so the benchmark for a hit tablet was not exactly a mystery.

This is not just negative, it’s positively disastrous. Unless Galen Gruman is suffering from delusions, or has particular reason to hate RIM, his verdict is devastating for RIM.

Obviously I am a fan of the iOS ecosystem, but not to the extent that I think all the competition is useless. Competition is good for everyone, especially for Apple. Sadly, the PlayBook has missed the opportunity. Maybe, even, it has met its Waterloo.

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