Wednesday, September 29, 2010

BlackPad Becomes A Playbook

Tablets will be somewhat confusing for many today as we all have heard or seen the iPad but now are being bombarded with competitive offers? What will differntuate one from another? Who will prevail? Are Apple the winners long term or merely the first to market?

RIM who produce the Blackberry has now announced its Blackpad or as its called Playbook.

They clearly still owns the corporate smartphone market with some 39% share in the US, so will their Playbook be adopted and dominate in a market it is familiar with and where it enjoys a solid reputation. We know many corporates that carry two phones today will this make one redundant and will corporates embrace it as a replacement notebook and a must have for the businessman on the move?

The Playbook will have a 7” screen with front and rear facing cameras to enable video conferencing. It will have Bluetooth and wi-fi. It will have no 3G capabilities but will enable a data connection to 3G networks by tethering to a Blackberry smartphone. It wil like everybody but Apple run Flash. It will have micro-HDMI and micro-usb ports.

However, it will not use the new Blackberry OS 6 operating system but QNX software, which was recently acquired by RIM. The new QNX system is designed specifically for the tablet size computer and will avoid any issues of adjustment from a smartphone OS to the tablet platform. The downside is that it is another operating system and another app barrier for some.

RIM expects to ship the device to corporate customers and developers in October and be fully available in early 2011. But the price remains under wraps and in a congested market may be an issue.

The market now includes or declared offers from Samsung, Dell, Lenovo, Asus, HTC, Acer, Google, Microsoft and Cisco. Will the app, or the technology, the connectivity, the package, the operating system or the price decide the winners and losers? We still believe that the race win be between Apple and Google and open and closed approaches. The big loser is likely to be Microsoft whose focus is still rooted to the PC World.

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