back to article RIM opens its PlayBook – tablets clearly set for dominance

Tablets are going to be a lot bigger than everyone realizes. We have been thinking this for the past few months, just after the first murmurs of sales volumes for the iPad, as we began to realize that it was perfectly capable of replacing some desktop PCs, many Notebooks and at least half of all netbooks, along with offering a …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    Already done...


    someone out there will invent a device which a detachable phone built in, we're sure of it.


    It is not hard to find (on this funny thing called the internet) gadgets that turn your iPad Touch into a phone. I am sure it won't be long before there are things available for Andriod Tablets where the maker has decided not to include the ability to make phone calls or even give you proper 3g access.

    So in a corporate environment then by all means buy your staff iPads, Play thingies or whatever. Add this type of widget and you are all set.

    None of this frankly archaic thing called tethering please.

    The RIM solution is pure 'lock-in'.

    They won't be alone in this.

    IMHO, the first tablet/pad maker to include the required h/w in their tablets along with the software to make calls will certainly carve out a pretty good share of the market. Just keep those headsets guys as it is going to be as embarrasing to be seen holding said pad/table up to ones ears as it was to be seen with one of those early mobile phones. Remember those bricks?

  2. JaitcH

    Pad radio and wire interconnectivity really needed to better a notepad

    Not fitting a cell radio option to North American units, to my mind, is a poor decision. Relying on an associated RIM cell phone is not a good option makes the two units inter-dependent - the absence or failure of one lessens the use of the other.

    If a pad seeks to displace a notebook it is essential that this independent connectivity be provided and the best design would be a standard alone, self-sufficient pad with RIM-cell features. The ability to connect a pad with peripherals, be they memory, keyboard, mouse or printer through generous USB and other connectors with added value beyond the petty cost of providing them.

    The other element that seems weak in pads is the ability to create data equally as well as they consume it. E-mail is a read AND write operation as are most applications.

  3. tempemeaty

    What the tablet OS's can't do...yet

    I began to read and one thing suddenly stood out. As much as you expect tablets to be a big new direction of things there stands one big issue. Right now as far as I've seen the Android and Apples OS for iPad can't run the Windows based or even Mac OSX "productivity" applications you need take with you on the go.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Good move

    Your comparison between the iPod and iPad marketshare is false. First of all, the iPod played to a completely different market, one in which the incumbents had no real answer until it was too late. Secondly, the iPad marketshare of the tablet market is nearly 100% due to the lack of credible competitors at this point. With the introduction of other tablets, that number is going to stabilise at a more realistic number.

    Blackberry has made a good move here, something companies such as Samsung would do well to emulate. By having both their own hardware and OS, RIM is free to map the development as they see fit. The Samsung Tab for instance is saddled with an OS that hasn't been designed for that form factor. However, we should wait for the actual reviews to come in before declaring the Playbook a winner.

    Right now, enterprises are not at all geared up for a new device, and they take several years to adapt to change. Consumers however are eager to try out new devices, and it still remains to be seen how well RIM can interact with these customers.

    It is good to see that RIM has taken a look at the shortcomings of the iPad and turned those into strengths for its platform. There is one concern though, with the components in the Playbook, I wonder if they can price it compettively. If the Playbook sells for $200 more than an iPad, I believe many consumers are simply going to go for the cheaper option which, ironically, means an Apple product.

  5. rob miller

    perfectly capable of replacing some desktop PCs...

    A sad bit looking back is that many of us with Nokia Internet Tablets - N700/N8x0/N9?? - have seen this for years. The form factor and weight issues described for the iPad are all accurate drawbacks and the 'correct' device is still waiting to be made from those long promised flexible displays. Nokia either missed completely or didn't have/apply the resources to figure out the app store or the kind of 'systems integration' RIM can do, and at least for Maemo development I only had to install an albeit less-polished VM instead of buying a Mac Mini, but they did have the devices in their stable early on.

  6. Robert E A Harvey

    Parkable phone

    I agree entirely about the parkable phone idea. It would be brilliantly small, only needing enough battery power for half an hour max.

    I have another idea. I have a bluetooth earset that parks in its own battery recharging lump. A parkable bluetooth headset that would recharge from the larger battery would also be cool, and could be paired with the parkable phone too.

    1. Giles Jones Gold badge

      Simple reason for that

      Such applications are designed around the WIMP system, Windows, Icons, Menus, Pointing Device. Anything designed for keyboard and mouse totally sucks on a touch screen.

      Go back in time to before the popularity of the Internet, PCs were around but it was only once the Internet exploded into the mainstream that PC sales increased. Therefore a huge number of people only have a PC for the Internet.

      Those people who want to run dull software and who want to run Word or Excel will continue to use a normal computer.

  7. Dave Lawton

    1GHz Processor

    Is it an ARM ?

    Why not say so then, and give more detail.

    Is everybody so frightened to death of Intel, that saying that the CPU isn't one of theirs is a no-no ?

  8. x-oterix

    Headache Tablets

    '500 million tablets by 2015' No chance!

    I'll give a Fiver for it; no more, no less

  9. Bob Greenwood

    Yes Please!

    Blackberry's are great - until you get an attachment - Excel spreadsheets are a nightmare. This could be the answer to a Road Warriors dreams. Better still if they have some useful way of printing to a nearby random printer....

    1. TheOtherJola

      Actually attachments are fine

      I can open XLS, XLSX, DOC, DOCX, PDF and most other formats on my handset just fine thanks.

      I even opened a massive XLSX spreadsheet with tabs in it the other day and, unlike its Windows Mobile counterpart, the Blackberry handled it just fine.

  10. Giles Jones Gold badge

    Battery life?

    What's the battery life like? if it's doesn't last a day then what use it it? I suspect since it hasn't been announced that it must be poorer than the iPad.

    It's all very well throwing Mhz and lots of CPU power into a device, but tablets aren't that sort of device. They're small, portable and efficient.

    The iPad is very quick to use, so who needs to much CPU power?

  11. Matt Bryant Silver badge

    Tablets will take over the World?

    Sorry, heard that before, and I still don't think it will happen this time round for the same reason it didn't last time - most people will want to carry a phone and one other device, unless that device can replace a work laptop then it will be left at home. Netbooks took off becuase they could do a fair job of replacing lightly used laptops. Smart phones took off because they could do email and phone. Tablets? Well, they're too big and usually not equipped with the phone bits, so they can't replace the phone, and if they can't do the work job (i.e., for 99% of users that's read and edit M$ Office docs and connect to Outlook) then they're doubly useless. I really liked the hp tablets we blagged at work the first time round, but I'm still using a laptop and a BB for every day use long after the tablet was consigned to the shelf.

  12. Anonymous Coward

    Well of course tablets are going to be big

    Because they first appeared on Star Trek as did communicators which inspired mobile phones.

  13. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD

    "RIM opens its PlayBook"

    You got my hopes up! Still, one can hope it will be open enough for anyone to write stuff for without jumping thru' too many jobsian hoops.

  14. Sean Baggaley 1


    Apple's not-so-secret sauce has been its design team and their ability to integrate technologies into a coherent user experience. All I've heard so far about the PlayBook is features X, Y and Z, but I've heard zilch about how well they easy they are to use.

    Features + usability = sales. If RIM don't pull off that usability part of the equation, their sales could well prove disappointing.

    Nevertheless, even if Blackberry does succeed in the corporate market, (and I hope they do,) this is unlikely to be a big problem for Apple, who don't give a gnat's chuff about corporate / enterprise sales. Their target market is *consumers*—which is why I have no time for all those bogus "Microsoft have ninety-mumble percent of the ENTIRE PC market!" statistics. Apple aren't *interested* in selling low-margin tat for office cubicles, any more than Bang & Olufsen are interested in selling cheap portable DVD players.

  15. John Molloy

    Catch up?

    When this project actually exists then maybe Apple might need to catch up. So far we've had a courier-like cgi demo and some promises of a delivery date sometime next year.

    If and when this thing ships then Apple might catch up.

    Here's the thing I bet the iPad 2 ships before this thing.

  16. Gil Grissum

    Replace PC's?

    Can the iPad print to a regular printer? Does Adobe Photoshop run on any tablet? Does any tablet recognize and install drivers for any M-Audio audio interface devices? Does any tablet run Pro-Tools? Until someone produces a Tablet that is compatible with my content creation and recording studio software, no tablet will be replacing my desktop PC. My Desktop PC does everything I need it to do and then some, because I built it to my specifications and to serve my needs. Apparently, I cannot built myself a tablet, because if I could, it wouldn't be running any cell phone operating system or Android, and it would at least have laptop hardware. The tablet is not some all encompessing computing solution for everyone. Those who need less and want to impress others with their toy, will find a tablet more compelling than those of us who need a real computer to do content creation (not just content consumption).

    I can see a tablet as an addition to my mobile computing environment, but I don't see a tablet replacing my laptop or desktop unless it can run my desktop apps and perform my desktop functions without compromise. For me, a hobbled, cute little tablet running iPhone OS and apps with no connectivity, expansion, camera, or security options, is useless. I will however admit that the Blackberry Playbook is a compelling product, given that is more securre and capable of doing more than "content consumption". I will be closely watching it's development. If the price is right and there are apps that I actually use available for it, I'll have to consider it, but the iPad is just a toy to me. I'm not willing to allow Apple to dictate my computing needs and then overcharge me for a hobbled, cute product.

  17. HKmk23

    Ahhh, but

    What is it's battery life? This is he difference between iPad and all the wanna be's.......

    1. Bill B


      I checked back with the article and yes .. it did say "perfectly capable of replacing some desktop PCs"


      "perfectly capable of replacing all desktop PCs including those with high end content creation and recording studio software"

      So I think the article does actually agrre with your statement that "The tablet is not some all encompassing computing solution for everyone. "

      You can calm down now

  18. Anonymous Coward

    Tablets are going to be a lot bigger than everyone realises

    once we saw Apples figures, so we jumped on the bandwagon.

    Try leading rather than just following, you might real work quite rewarding.

  19. egraaf

    connecting through handset eats batteries fast

    Using your phone as a router for your tablet won't last longer than an hour or so, and then you won't be making calls anymore. You really need a 3G to WiFi pocket router like the Novatel or Huawei devices.

  20. Daniel Harris 1

    Everybody will NEED a phone and a tablet...

    Need is a very strong word, I don't think many people NEED a tablet

  21. Robert Synnott

    Adobe Air as major development option?

    I assume RIM's business model is now based on the hope that Adobe will make Air less staggeringly crap in the next six months, then. Sounds optimistic.

  22. Jonathan White


    'Early entry'? By the time the Playbook hits the UK the iPad will have been out for a year, and will probably be about to launch version 2....

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Shock! Horror! Shock & Horror! (?)

    <gasp in amazement>

    Can it be the the IT Sector giants of supply, design, manufacture, fabs, assembly lines and procurement finally realise that people prefer and are prepared to pay for a computer that does not look like a computer?

    </gasp in amazement>

    Doubled with

    <gasp in amazement>

    Can it be the the IT Sector giants of supply, design, manufacture, fabs, assembly lines and procurement finally realise that people prefer and are prepared to pay for a phone that does not look like a phone?

    </gasp in amazement>

  24. RegisterThis

    Heard of the 'Internet of Things'?

    ... that is the future! There are already consumer devices and appliances roadmapped with 4G and other chips in them ... so a pseudo communication tool should definitely have one NOW!

    The lack of a radio should have been the 'Lite' version for those who wanted to cut costs, but I don't think for a second RIM should be associating themselves with producing devices with the lack of a radio as the 'standard' model.

  25. John Tserkezis
    Thumb Down

    It's been said before, but you don't listen, so I'll say it again.

    "Tablets are going to be a lot bigger than everyone realizes."

    They died in the 90's for good reason. And they were full-blown PCs too, not the knobbled low-end toy processor you find in PDAs and such which are severly limited in functionality they're trying to tell you is the next big thing today.

    1. chr0m4t1c

      I thought

      That they died in the 90's because the technology wasn't ready. All the tablet PCs I encountered were heavy, unresponsive things that you were lucky to get a couple of hours battery life out of.

      This new stream strike me as being much better targeted.

      Apple sold something like 330,000 iPads on the first day and 3,000,000 in the first three months; I'd be quite surprised if the total sales for Tablet PCs in the 90's were even 100,000.

      I dunno, these things are doing quite well considering what a flop they were predicted to be. Supposedly they will become the fourth largest consumer electronics category in the US very soon, just behind TVs, smart phones and Notebook PCs - ahead of DVD players, cameras and Desktop PCs.

      Yep, they're a major flop alright.

  26. Robert Synnott

    RE: Replace PCs

    > Can the iPad print to a regular printer?

    In the latest 4.2 betas, yes. General public gets it in November.

    > Does Adobe Photoshop run on any tablet? Does any tablet recognize and install drivers for any M-Audio audio interface devices? Does any tablet run Pro-Tools?

    No, of course not.

    The claim is not made that tablets will replace all PCs, but that they will replace _some_ PCs. In particular, they may replace PCs in normal consumer applications (web browsing, facebook/twitter, basic word processing and spreadsheets (Pages and Numbers for iPad cover most normal-person needs), IM etc etc etc), but they will certainly not replace PCs for, say, most multimedia production, or any development. Not in the short term, anyway; it's becoming increasingly clear that desktop OSes on tablets are not a sensible option (see any review of any Windows 7 tablet), and obviously it'll take time for such things to be ported to iOS or Android, and will be demand-dependent.

    > those of us who need a real computer to do content creation (not just content consumption).

    The point is that the only 'content creation' that a normal person does involves basic productivity tools (wordprocessors, etc) and posting to Twitter or whatever; a tablet can handle these with ease. With the exception of charting and music mixing software (don't ask me why it's these two...) there's little sign of any more specialised productivity software coming to tablets in any meaningful way just yet, and of course tablets are inherently unsuited for some things, like development, for the forseeable future; one day we will see an IDE with a sensible touch interface, no doubt, but it's a long way off right now and will take a lot of work.

  27. Robert Synnott

    RE: Ahhh, but

    > What is it's battery life? This is he difference between iPad and all the wanna be's.......

    Given the deafening silence on the matter from RiM, Samsung, et al, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that Apple still has an edge in the battery life department for this tablet generation...

  28. Bill B
    Thumb Down

    So .. its not out yet

    I found this article annoying. It admits that RIM aren't planning to release this thing until next year, then talks about what it 'can' do. No .. it 'cannot' do it. It isn't out yet.

    By the time it does come out there will be a whole raft of other tablets also out, possibly even an iPad2. THEN we can start comparing how well it matches up with the competition.

  29. Ascylto
    Big Brother

    Playbook, shmaybook

    Apple might catch up?

    What ... empty its shelves, recall the iPads in circulation?

    Who's catching who up? There IS NO PLAYBOOK yet!

  30. dcattran

    Dataviz Connection

    RIM also bought Dataviz recently, the guys who make the Documents-to-go software. I suspect they'd be planning to bring out a robust Office-docs suite on the Playbook, based on the existing docs-to-go codebase.

  31. Tom 7 Silver badge

    Ooooh Goodie

    another OS and a fresh suite of applications to go through the ' who left this gaping security hole' tennis match.

    At least with Android you can run it on a VM in Linux and get the 'functionality' and the security.

    I'm looking forward to having a real PC in small format using the technology that's been available for quite a long while now.

  32. Anonymous Coward

    How big?

    "Tablets are going to be a lot bigger than everyone realizes" - how big? cow-sized?

  33. DanX
    Thumb Up

    Pairing a good thing.

    I nearly always use my iphone and my ipad together. If I'm working on something or webbrowsing, due to the lack of multi tasking, I tend to check my emails on the one, while leaving my book undisturbed on the other or what have you.

    But working this way I've not needed multitasking to be honest, but I've also come to apprecate that having an extra screen avalible to show messages is a good thing. Now when out and about, if I could also use my 3G from my phone rather than requiring 2 phone connections thats a good thing.

    I can also see it being great to be able to just use the screen as an extension of the smart phone. For example, keeping the music and video on just one of them. So when multitasking does finally hit the ipad, only having to keep one of the devices upto date with vast ammounts of data (over the cloud or via itunes or how ever) but being able to consume it on any device (airplay to apple TV may be) is a massive advantage.

    Blackberry are doing great stuff. I hope it goes big wings and flys far.

  34. Watashi

    Horses for courses

    The key to understanding this market is to realise that a modern tablet is simply a netbook with the keyboard removed and a touch-screen added. The iPad was not a revolution, but rather just a variation on an existing product. However, whilst most home users may not need a built-in keyboard, business users do. Thus, the future for the business world is a light-weight device with a slide-out keyboard and touch-screen that acts as a dumb terminal, accessing cloud based software through 4G. Home users will buy one or the other depending on how they intend to use the device.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    but can this ARM A9 dual chip run x264

    Q: but can this ARM A9 dual chip run the worlds best visual quality x264 AVC/H.264 Encoder !

    A: Yes it can. ;)

    Q ok then , but can this QNX RTP6 run Quake3 style games!

    A: Yes It can. ;)

    ask Bill the QNX RTP CEO to show you the old quake Engine he licensed and had his engineers port ot the old RTP6.0 Developers LiveCD for the Amiga venture that fleecy fecked up back in 2000.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019