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RIM: claims BlackBerry PlayBook rushed out aren't 'fair'

updated 08:00 pm EDT, Thu April 14, 2011

RIM defends PlayBook against mixed early reviews

RIM's co-CEOs shot back at mixed early BlackBerry PlayBook reviews that savaged the tablet for the unfinished state of its software. The company's Jim Balsille didn't believe it was "fair" that people attacked the PlayBook for the lack of native e-mail, calendaring and other core apps. The device was perfectly usable by the roughly 60 million existing BlackBerry owners, he told Bloomberg, as they could bridge their phone to the PlayBook and check the information stored on the BlackBerry itself.

"A lot of the people that want this want a secure and free extension of their BlackBerry," he argued.

His co-executive Mike Lazaridis in turn disputed Apple CEO Steve Jobs' criticism of seven-inch tablets and argued the opposite, that the PlayBook's small size was "superior." It was more portable and easier to hold for long stretches of time. Lazaridis revealed that the PlayBook's design had been inspired by Moleskine's "iconic" notebooks, which were used by Ernest Hemingway and other famous creatives.

There had also been concerted research, since RIM wanted a device large enough to play video with a fast processor but which would stay relatively portable.

Balsillie was confident that appealing to the faithful with the design was enough. "I like our chances for a lot of share," he said.

The company's chances aren't known. It has been counting on wide initial availability in North America and major publicity but may have difficulty appealing to the roughly two thirds of US smartphone owners that haven't bought the BlackBerry in recent months. At pricing identical to the iPad 2, RIM will also need to convince buyers that the much smaller app count of about 3,000, the lack of native e-mail until the summer, and the smaller screen size aren't necessarily liabilities.

Apple sold 14.8 million original iPads in 2010, a large portion of which were to buyers who didn't already use Apple's phone platform.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Peter Bonte

    Joined: Dec 1969


    MS way of thinking

    The new device isn't allowed to compete 100% with the old cashcow of the company so they cripple it, so not how to play this game. RIM is on its way out and there nervous.

  1. phillymjs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Is he serious?

    Not rushing it out, my quarter-Irish patoot!

    It's not fair to criticize a device that lacks native email, made by a company who made their name selling devices that (at first) did NOTHING BUT mobile email?

    A device that requires you to carry around a second device (conveniently made by the same company) to get full functionality?

    The denials are laughable-- they are clearly in panic mode over their shrinking relevance while iOS and Android devices nibble away at their market share. They're also clearly desperate to get something, anything on the shelves they can hold up as an iPad competitor.

  1. kpasamiron

    Joined: Dec 1969



    It is laughable to think that people will be please with a product that is not ready for the market, specially when you have so much competition from other and better tablets. RIM needs to go back to their original imagination and have the "cojones" to abandon a product that is now antiquated and loosing market share.

    As a Blackberry user (I have two phones, one Iphone and one Blackberry, mind you not by choice) I am pleading you not to rearrange your product but bring something new to the market; use your innovation, creativity instead of given us more of what we hate about your product.

    Is people like you, Mr. Balsille who treating us unfairly. Please grow up and stop blaming others for your own mistakes.

  1. facebook_Gregory

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Apr 2011



    ...they made similar claims about the Storm I which was their first touch screen device and I'm now a dedicated Android user after suffering through a contract with that heap of junk. I *love* my Android phone as much as I WANTED to love my Storm...but it wouldn't let me love it. It would crash constantly, the browser was near useless, and RIM basically stopped fixing the bugs and moved on. I learned all I needed to know about RIM from that experience.

    Keep ignoring where the mass market is going to cling to your dwindling base Ballsille. It may not have been "fair" that people attacked the PlayBook, but it was accurate!

    Comment buried. Show
  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Pot Meet Kettle

    I love the commenters saying that RIM is forcing you to carry around a second device.

    You know what forces you to carry around your cellphone, is you want to take phone calls.

    First and foremost, that it is the primary reason. And here apple, and android are no different.

    As a practical matter - because you cannot take phone calls on your iPad, or Galaxy Tab - you are carrying around a cell phone.

    Now, there is a possibility - admittedly nobody does it well yet, that someday there will be the "one" device - that is both a cellphone and a highly portable tablet.

    But this idea that RIM is forcing you to carry your cellphone because they didn't include an email app that doesn't piggy back on the phone - don't let that sophistry confuse you - you are still carrying around a cell phone, period.

    You carry it around, same as the BB users. And you probably read your mail on it, same as BB users. And if your iPad can get mail over 3g instead of from the phone - so what??? How do you care how it got there?

    I agree, that the Playbook should have its own email app - but the RIM guy does have a point, doesn't he. It's not going to make a big difference, as a practical matter you are carrying your phone around - unless you don't take calls on your cell - but you are in a very tiny minority if that is the case.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Joined: Dec 1969


    btw, I do love that you have suddenly become pass

    I love that apple fans have suddenly become crusaders for not having to carry "2" devices around.

    Now, if only Apple would listen.

    a 6" tablet with cell capability would be great. No carrying around both phone and tablet.

    I won't hold my breath.

  1. FreeRange

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Ah, the trolls come out...

    You must be joking trying to defend RIM on this move! The clownfish are swimming in circles...

  1. icewing

    Joined: Dec 1969


    7 inch tablet

    I don't want smaller - I keep hoping that Apple comes out with a LARGER iPad!

  1. BodegaBay

    Joined: Dec 1969


    It's TETHERING at it's finest!

    Looks to me "Jonathan-Tanya" is a proponent of tethering his tablet with cell phone for full functionality. Just like Balsille needs Lazaridis to "co-lead" a corporation for full functionality. I'll let readers here guess which guy needs a pair, stop asking his companion for permission to play with the boys, and have his own username without tethering it with his woman's.

    And to the Bert and Ernie co-RIMs, it's pathetic that they both go on Bloomberg and cry "its unfair." Let me direct them to what Alec Baldwin says about a taking criticisms: "You think this is abuse you c*** s******? You can't take this, how can you take abuse on a sit?" And of course they both don't deserve COFFEE at this stage of the game.

    What? Too harsh?

  1. B9bot

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Basic functionality like email is needed RIM

    Basic functionality like email is need RIM. Denying it is just plain stupid!!!
    Having no software means you rushed it out like all the reviews said you did. Especially basic software like email and calendar. Nobody in there right mind is going to buy your product until you provide some basics to go along with it.

    Playbook is a failure before its even released!

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