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BlackBerry PlayBook said facing battery life problems

updated 08:55 am EST, Tue December 28, 2010

PlayBook may be delayed by battery issues

The BlackBerry PlayBook might be facing significant battery problems that has led to a slight delay, Kaufman Bros. analyst Shaw Wu heard from sources. The tablet in its current state allegedly has battery life of just "a few hours" where the Galaxy Tab often gets six and the iPad 10. It may need re-engineering and could even demand a heavier battery, negating much of the weight advantage of a seven-inch tablet.

"[This is] likely why [RIM] pushed out its launch to the May 2011 quarter," Wu said, referring to the March to May timeframe. "Keep in mind that QNX wasn't originally designed for mobile environments but rather for devices like network equipment and automobiles where battery life isn't as much [of] a constraint."

RIM is making "good progress" on the tablet, but developers are still uncertain both because of the split between BlackBerry 6 and QNX (BlackBerry Tablet OS) and because of the poor state of BlackBerry App World. There are "simply not enough apps and users" to help generate money, the analyst said, and it wasn't certain the tablet would fix the problem.

Wu maintained a pessimistic view of RIM's initial sales for the PlayBook and that it might move just 700,000 of the devices in all of 2011, well below the one to eight million others are estimating. A lack of content beyond the Amazon MP3 and Kobo deals, such as apps and videos, may hold it back where Apple's iPad thrives on the elements the PlayBook currently lacks.

RIM hasn't had an opportunity to comment on the alleged problem. It has already said that it would start shipping the PlayBook at the end of its current quarter, which ends in February, but that revenues from sales wouldn't come in until the quarter starting in March. Regardless of timing, a reduced lifespan if real could significantly hurt the PlayBook's chances at success. Battery life has been a cornerstone of the iPad and has been considered an important aspect of any tablet, since the device can always be on-hand where a netbook or notebook usually needs to be plugged in.

by MacNN Staff



  1. starwarrior

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Hodge Podge of Parts and Systems

    Nothing like a stovepiped organization design team. Maybe there is a reason for the bigger form factor besides readability.

  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    go RIM go!

    the more of these half-baked, rushed-to-market tablets come out, the more people will want an iPad.

  1. bjojade

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I hope they pull it off

    RIMM has the best chance to pull off a competitor to the iPad. It is good to have solid competition in the market where quality is the deciding factor more than just the lowest price. All the androids are me too devices that just try to be cheaper than the next guy. The blackberry is different, just like the iPad.

    I am excited to see what they can do.

    Oh, and if they remove flash support, the battery life probably would double. Lol

  1. James Katt

    Joined: Dec 1969


    RIM rims out

    Badoop pah!

    The iPad can run up to 12 hours on a battery charge.

    RIM's executives and engineers could not believe the original iPhone in 2007 could run such a long time. They thought what the iPhone did was impossible. They accused Apple of lying about the iPhone's specs. But when they opened up an iPhone, much to their surprise and embarrassment, they found the iPhone was primarily a huge battery with a tiny motherboard.

    Hopefully, RIM's executives and engineers learned a huge lesson in design.

    Hopefully, the PlayBook can run as long as the iPad on its battery.

    BUT THEN, RIM's executives and engineers have been SO DUMB.

    If RIM's Playbook has battery life problems, then it is DEAD IN THE WATER.

    It would be another embarrassment to RIM.


    Comment buried. Show
  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Joined: Dec 1969


    big deal

    the tablet looks great, and it's not released yet, so hard to criticize it for battery life.

    omg, developing a product involves fixing engineering issues, geez, not exactly news.

    I would more concerned about not as easily fixed flaws - such as the OS was as crappy as bb os 6, or something like that.

    I don't expect that from the QNX team, but if they pulled a RIM, I'd be concerned. As it is - looking good, can't wait to see the final product.

  1. Homeboy

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I always distrust stock analysts, especially ones who have been so wrong about RIM over the last year.

  1. Geoduck

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I don't buy Fiat cars. They have great designs but historically the execution has been so iffy that I don't trust them.

    Same goes for RIM. They plan all these great things, handhelds, tablets, new OSs, AppStores, but they have a history of utterly lame execution. Terrible browsers, AppStores with nothing of interest in them, ignoring touch screens for far too long and so on that I don't trust them. They may get this tablet battery life issue resolved. At least they will say it's fixed, but if they are dealing with an issue so fundamental so late in the development process implies it's classic RIM. Scabbed together solutions that won't work as advertised.

  1. ljmac

    Joined: Dec 1969


    This is hilarious!

    RIM went on about how the PlayBook would be better than the iPad because the OS was designed for tablets, not phones. However:

    1) iOS actually was designed for the iPad - Steve simply decided that adapting it to a phone and bringing that to market first would be a better approach commercially (I guess he was right!).

    2) QNX is actually designed for network equipment and automobiles, so it lacks perhaps the single most important function of a tablet OS (frugal battery management)!

    Are these guys even more incompetent and full of BS than Microsoft?

  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    When the iPad 2.0 is announced having

    ten-hour battery life, RIM will claim that Apple is lying and that it's impossible for a dual-core processor with a 9.7" screen to get that much battery life. Haha. They'll tear the iPad 2 open, gasp and find a huge battery with an even tinier logic board (than the original iPhone) attached to it. RIM is going up against the wrong company to take down. Maybe they should be going after Motorola or even Samsung. Clearly, RIM is in over its head going after Apple.

    Apple's new motto should be: We make the impossible happen.

  1. Foe Hammer

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Get Ready ...

    ... here comes the Blackberry PlayBrick.

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