Is Research in Motion Running the Wrong Strategy with Blackberry Playbook?
By now you’ve heard Research in Motion (RIMM) unveiled their much anticipated tablet: Blackberry Playbook. Here are some key reasons the playbook for Playbook seems to be second-rate at best:
- Apple’s (AAPL) next generation iPad will be here by the time Playbook 1.0 rolls out. Research in Motion said the Playbook will be available in the US early next year and will expand to other places in the second half of 2011. It’s already a loss that RIMM is this late to the tablet game. However, when competing against an innovator like Apple, RIMM’s release strategy is like using horses when the other side has stealth airplanes.
- The Playbook breaks no ground. Basically, the Playbook spec page at Research in Motion’s website focuses on basic upgrades to the iPad, yet there is no killer app or innovation. The biggest focus is the video camera for video chat. I’m sure iPad 2.0 has a camera, and they got to sell millions of iPads without one. The picture of Playbook is positioned to show off the USB port. Not sure how Apple will respond to this. And RIMM seems to think multi-tasking will be a differentiator after Apple rolls out the new iPad OS. The one thing Playbook may have going for it is a focus on enterprise functionality. However, I expect Apple to leapfrog over the Playbook in early 2011, leaving RIMM with an inferior product and the need to continue playing catchup.
With that said, I do think the Playbook is a sexy tablet which will appeal to the Blackberry loyalist. And, for the record, I AM NOT A BLACKBERRY HATER. I’m just a bit disappointed RIMM is following Microsoft (MSFT) down the road of being reactionary instead of visionary.
What do you think of the new Playbook? Let us know in the comments below …