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RIM planning larger PlayBooks, says Apple started wrong

updated 08:10 pm EST, Tue December 7, 2010

RIM CEO hints at larger PlayBooks in store

RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis' turn at an interview at the D: Dive Into Mobile conference confirmed that larger versions of the BlackBerry PlayBook were coming. He was confident that the seven-inch model was "just the perfect size," but there were "plans for different sizes," he said when asked. When they would come and what dimensions they would have weren't said.

Using the QNX-rooted BlackBerry Tablet OS gave RIM an edge in multi-core processing beyond just the PlayBook, Lazaridis said, though he wouldn't see them come to smart phones until he could get dual-core processors that can deal with smartphone sizes. Staffers talking to Electronista and other outlets have usually hinted at the platform replacing BlackBerry 6 across the entire line, possibly as soon as 2011.

While likely in development for awhile, the extra sizes may end up being hedges against Apple criticisms of seven-inch tablets. The iPad maker's Steve Jobs insisted that the size was too small since user elements either had to get too small or else lost much of their advantage by being too close to a smartphone size.

The executive also fired criticism back at Apple as well as Google. He thought the two might have trouble in the long term as both had started with a phone OS and had to upsize it for tablets. "We're starting with a bona-fide mobile computing platform for tablets," Lazaridis said of BlackBerry Tablet OS, which itself is based on QNX. Google on Monday was already showing its answer with a demo of a Motorola Android 3.0 tablet whose OS was much more optimized for larger screens.

Flash resurfaced as a topic. Everyone was using Flash on PCs and Macs, so it would be natural to use it on a tablet to get at the same content. "Why would you limit yourself?" he asked. When it was pointed out that Apple was selling many iPads without having to use Flash, the co-leader insisted it was "really early days" and that he would be proven right later.

Enterprise threats from Apple and Google weren't major issues since, like a highway, multiple different brands could co-exist without destroying each other. He didn't address a recent leak that showed JPMorgan choosing iPads over PlayBooks for a trial project with staff.

The conversation further put RIM on the defensive with Lazaridis having to explain market share losses. RIM "invented the smarpthone," Lazaridis said and was making a strategic decision based on its experience to focus on world share rather than concentrate on the US, where the share hit may have been much more severe. Much of its recent success has been in the developing world or newer markets where prepaid BlackBerry phones dominate.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Tjp

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Yep Apple started wrong ...

    Apple's wrong move was to scoop RIM and take too much market share before RIM even thought about playing.

    So now RIM will say other sizes are needed just so they can be retroactively engaged in the size the market wants...

    My personal ideal is a size that is small enough and a chassis durable enough to fit in my back pocket and be sat upon. Like a small paperback book size 1 half inch (or 1.25 cm) thick. Then have it open like a book into two displays. But I have different uses. To use as a general purpose display, the iPad is great. Trim the black border and make the display a bit bigger without altering the device size, and even better.

    Hire me and I'll design the next killer device for you.


  1. phillymjs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Um, right...

    First off, RIM didn't invent the smartphone. They invented a mobile email device and grafted it onto a cell phone a couple years later, which was a blindingly obvious, logical progression.

    Second, w/r/t Apple and Google upsizing a phone OS-- Jobs is on record as saying that Apple developed the iPad first, but the iPhone made it to market first:

    Third, Apple has repeatedly asked Adobe to make a version of mobile Flash that isn't a battery-sucking t***, and Adobe can't seem to do it. And given how Adobe couldn't be bothered to try to make Flash work well on Macs until about a month ago, I'm okay with Apple telling them to get stuffed when they cry about being kept off iOS devices.

    Fourth, it's hilarious that a guy whose company has sold zero tablets is talking about all the mistakes made by a company that has sold millions.

    Conclusion: This guy is delusional.

  1. slapppy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    It's a comedy skit right?

    Was this a comedy skit, because the stuff this guy is spewing is hilarious!

  1. global.philosopher

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Phillymjs got it right...

    ...on the ball.

  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    it's not brown nosing

    to note the facts.

  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    What brings them to the conclusion that

    Apple scaled up the iPad OS from the iPhone OS? I thought Apple was working on tablets before the iPhone came into being. But whatever OS the iPad is currently using, how is it unsuitable for tablets or inferior to this QNX OS. There certainly are millions of consumers that are very happy with the iPad OS and as far as consumers are concerned iPad OS certainly is light years ahead of Windows on a tablet.

    Even if RIM did invent the smartphone, they can still end up like Motorola who practically invented the cellphone, now a company that is completely clueless in the current smartphone race. You can start out first, but if you snooze, you can still lose.

    I have nothing to say about RIM's Flash advantage. Apple isn't going to compete and that's the end of that. I guess RIM wins there.

  1. solefald

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Apple started wrong... is that why you are planning to release another size, RIM?
    What a bunch of ignorant losers....

  1. Salty

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Uhh, someone needs to let this guy know that iOS was based on OS X... a DESKTOP OS, for something much more powerful than people expect tablets to be... though actually I guess OS X premiered on devices that were less powerful than the original iPhone let alone the iPad. Their UI conventions come from a smart phone, but partly that's because they both rely on touch input and have form factors that are fairly similar.

    RIM went 7 inches to save money. Not to mention they probably weren't sure they'd be able to get enough 10 inch displays with Apple eating them all!

    Now Jobs calling down the 7 inch tablets, that's probably only going to last until he releases a 7 inch iPad. Though who knows he's kept the size of the iPhone pretty consistent for four years. And iOS will be able to handle multicore processors just fine, all they need to do is port the YEARS of enhancements that OS X has had for multi core processors for over a decade.

  1. JeffHarris

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Bigger YES, but...

    NO real OS. And content should be an afterthought, too.

    I mean, it's the hardware that's most important, right?

  1. macnixer

    Joined: Dec 1969


    phillymjs and Salty go it

    I just reiterate:

    iOS - based on OS X and can be scaled any which way. Fact is Apple can have a much more powerful OS designed in no time for a future mobility device we don't know about.

    RIM did not invent the smartphone. It truely was Palm. Unfortunately being the inventor did not help Palm much in the long run. Apple reinvented the smartphone and RIM is trying to share the sunshine.

    Flash my a** (donkey). No one cares. Most of the Flash stuff is just ads and good riddance on the iOS. Adobe are you listening?

    Lastly, if Apple made it all wrong then I would like to make such mistakes over and over and sing (have singers dancing around my car) while I have a smile going around my head entering the bank. Oooh baby, I love such mistakes.

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