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RIM confirms PlayBook 2.0 delayed to 2012 with no BBM

updated 06:55 pm EDT, Tue October 25, 2011

BlackBerry PlayBook now moved off to February

RIM's Senior VP for the BlackBerry PlayBook, David Smith, quickly confirmed rumors of a delay in PlayBook 2.0. The release, once promised soon after DevCon last week, now won't arrive until February. RIM wanted to make sure it "fully met the expectations" of both developers and users before it shipped, he said.

To help get ready, certain enterprise buyers in the Early Adopter Program would get closed beta releases to help them check how well both promised features like native e-mail worked as well as to check the new corporate app deployment feature and overall security. Tests would start "shortly" and run until the end of 2011.

In a significant loss, however, BlackBerry Messenger wouldn't ship at all with 2.0. It still wanted a "seamless" implementation, but the instant messaging wouldn't arrive until a "subsequent" version past 2.0, Smith said. PlayBook owners would have to use Bridge with a BlackBerry phone to get BBM on the larger screen.

The news is a change to a more candid and deliberate schedule than in the past, when RIM often wouldn't provide more than general timing clues and in many cases denied delays in spite of their own executives' public promises.

Regardless, it magnifies the fallout of RIM's decision to rush the PlayBook to market with the promise of a patch to add in features that other platforms take for granted, such as e-mail. Initially promised by executives as coming within 60 days of the PlayBook's April release, native e-mail, calendars, and contacts were quietly delayed to the summer, then October, and now to 10 months after the PlayBook was first released.

The absence of native BBM is known to be tied to an inherent one device, one PIN code limit in the messaging system. By taking it out of the equation for anytime in the near future, it essentially hands Apple an opportunity with iMessage. The iOS rival to BBM can run on every device a user has and still has core features like encrypted chats and message receipts.

by MacNN Staff



  1. cgc

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Move along

    Nothing to see here... too little too late.

  1. blshaw

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Yup. I want one of those!

    I'm sure there are throngs of breathless consumers waiting in long lines to snap up one of these stellar tablets from a company that can't innovate or even do a good job of copying, can't meet any of their promised schedules and is rapidly sinking into oblivion. Sign me up, too!

  1. Makosuke

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Right idea, too late

    It's good that they're holding back the ship date until it's finished. Too bad they didn't do that with the FIRST PlayBook, resulting in a total image disaster in addition to whatever the low sales cost the company up-front.

    Of course, the fact that the second PlayBook, despite not shipping for another four months, STILL won't have BBM without tethering it to a phone is some combination of embarrassing, ridiculous, and disastrous.

    Frankly, the idea that they are saying outright that the product is being held up for four months because they don't want to release it before it's ready, yet "ready" does not include standalone access to the core of their entire business, shows that they're utterly clueless (or, I suppose, that someone in the company hates tablets and wants to make sure theirs fails so they'll stop trying).

  1. chas_m




    I do actually feel sorry for RIM ... this is just so pathetic ... the Playbook looked like it COULD have been a moderately interesting tablet, but my guess is that Playbook 2.0 won't even make it to market, and even if it does there WILL NOT be a Playbook 3. The annals of vapourware just got a little bigger ...

  1. Paul Huang

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The vapor is burning their collective


  1. aristotles

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Time to rename RIM to RIP?

    If they want to have any hope of survival, they need to dump their founders from the CO-CEO positions as fast as possible. Show them the door or give them some unimportant jobs in the company shuffling papers.

  1. SockRolid

    Joined: Dec 1969



    The real reason for the delay?

    RIM wants to see what the iPad 3 will be like first. If it gets Siri on a 2048x1536 screen, RIM can just cut their losses and cancel the Playbook line. (90% likelihood.)

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