updated 04:20 pm EDT, Tue October 25, 2011
BlackBerry PlayBook may lack e-mail until Feb 17
The promised BlackBerry PlayBook 2.0 update might not arrive until February if rumors from within RIM prove true. Despite promises by company CEOs that the update would be available soon after it was shown off at BlackBerry DevCon last week, BGR understood the tablet wouldn't get native e-mail and other basics until mid-February, possibly February 17. RIM's problems overcoming the one-device limit inherent to the BlackBerry has reportedly proven tougher to overcome than once thought.
One of the key problems has been BlackBerry Messenger, the sources claimed. Since the necessary PIN codes are tied to the devices and limited to one per account, RIM has been forced to either find a workaround or change the system itself.
In a piece of irony, RIM has reportedly been trying to copy Apple's iMessage approach, which itself was meant to challenge BBM. The BlackBerry designer wanted messages sent to one account to appear on every device much like they do on Apple's platform, but it may have been forced to create two entirely separate apps with their own distinct contacts.
The claims aren't directly confirmed, although they're corroborated by the PlayBook 2.0 beta itself. While native e-mail, calendars, and other core features are supposed to be part of the update, they weren't exposed in the copy available to developers. If accurate, the PlayBook will have gone without features common to every other tablet for 10 months, or eight months longer than RIM first promised.
RIM has acknowledged that the lack of native e-mail has been the top reason why the tablet has sold poorly. The company is widely known to have rushed the PlayBook to say it had an iPad competitor on shelves, but it overestimated the number of those who were sufficiently loyal to the BlackBerry to want both a phone and a tablet to get the full feature set.