Pulling out the Playbook

RIM has finally unveiled a working demo of its rival to the iPad—the BlackBerry Playbook

Pulling out the Playbook

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Research In Motion has been locked in a bitter battle with tech rivals like Apple, but lately it seems shareholders couldn’t be happier. The company, which has been losing ground in the battle over smartphones, finally unveiled a working demo of its rival to the iPad—the BlackBerry Playbook—last Tuesday. Company co-chief executive Mike Lazaridis debuted the seven-inch, multi-touch tablet at the Adobe MAX conference in Los Angeles, showcasing its integrated camera for video conferencing, high-definition screen and full Flash support—all features the iPad has been criticized for lacking.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs has dismissed the Playbook as being “too small,” but RIM shareholders seem to disagree. The device, which hits store shelves as early as next March and is marketed as the world’s first “professional” tablet, drove RIM stock up 5.8 per cent on Tuesday and 10 per cent overall last week.


Pulling out the Playbook

  1. Drift Kendra..Drift..

  2. Sorry, Kendra. I own an iTouch. After 2 years of idiotic alarm function failures (and I don't just mean the day-light debacle), I won't plunk down another bundle on an iPhony.

    Also, the 'coolness' trance doesn't play for Apple in the rest of the world. Blackberries are much cheaper than iPhones where cost is a factor, and the very popular free messaging on top of that makes iPhones' an also-ran there.

    The rest of the world doesn't run on Apples-in-schools, generation-X, college-grad, North American, hang-around-Starbucks, vegan values.

    The malfunction rate is *slightly* poorer for BB's, but the real significant percentage margin is statistical, rather than practical. iPhones are more likely to be (expensively) damaged, than Blackberries are to (inexpensively) mis-fire. That may not help your opinion or choice, but the real world cannot be driven by one person's experience.

    I'm a 20+ year Mac user, but I'd buy a $90 Fido plain-phone before a 'hold-it-another-way' jobsPhone.

  3. Regarding the Playbook proper: Blackberry and the other slate offerings have the right size for schools. You can't lug around an iPad, AND a phone, AND and a laptop/netbook. If you're going to carry an iPad around, you may as well get a netbook instead.

    The screen is just right for one standard-sized text-book page. The iPad is pointlessly bigger than necessary for practical use. Hopefully RIM screen won't have the iPad's greasy sheen that makes it hard to read in bright, reflective overhead lighting.

  4. Nook Color is better for reading than iPad and better for everything else than Kindle. Nook Color is better for $249. Nook Color screen is supposed to be better (less reflective) for reading than iPad thanks to new LG screen with anti-reflection coating. It allows to watch videos, listen to the music, view Office documents and PDF's. The Nook Color will not run apps straight out of the Android Market, but that does not mean it cannot run them. In fact, they have done a lot of tests on apps from standard Android smartphones and they pretty much run on Nook Color, which has Android 2.1 under the hood. (The Nook native interface and apps are just standard Android application layers.) Barnes & Noble special Nook SDK runs on top of the standard Android one and gives developers access to exclusive extensions and APIs for the Nook and its interface. So porting Android apps is not difficult. B&N says it is more like optimising them for Nook than porting them. If you prefer e-Ink screen, the original Nook is still available from BN.

  5. And RIM has a decided advantage over Apple here in Canada: 3G capability via tethering to your CORPORATE phone for FREE (at least for me) data!

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