RIM's PlayBook tablet is facing an onslaught of competitive products that could marginalize the device's impact in the mobile space.
RIM's PlayBook tablet is scheduled to hit store shelves early
next year. In that time, it's possible that the company will offer up several
new features that it hasn't talked about yet. But for now, critics and
supporters of the device alike need make do with what they know-and that means
a device that, for many, just won't live up to expectations.
However, there are several products on the market that are
doing a good job of matching customer desires. Ranging from tablets to
smartphones to operating systems, these products could quite easily derail RIM's PlayBook
and marginalize its impact in the market. Here's a look at some of the devices and
technologies that could outplay the RIM PlayBook.
1. Apple's iPad
RIM is targeting Apple's iPad with its PlayBook
but that certainly doesn't mean that the company is capable of taking it down.
In fact, it seems highly likely that the iPad is the device that could most
easily hurt sales of RIM's PlayBook. Not only is the iPad a hit with consumers,
but Apple's tablet is also gaining some ground in the enterprise.
2. Cisco Cius
The Cisco Cius is the other
in the space. It will run Android OS and will sport a 7-inch display when it
launches early next year. Exactly how well that product will sell is anyone's
guess. But due to its ability to integrate with existing Cisco infrastructure,
it could prove to be a major thorn in RIM's side as the latter tries to situate
its tablet to the corporate world.
3. BlackBerry Torch
It might not seem obvious, but RIM's own BlackBerry Torch
could hurt its PlayBook's sales. After all, in this economy, where companies
are still loath to overspend, already having one device that works with
BlackBerry Enterprise Server certainly sounds better than having to have two
products. The BlackBerry Torch is arguably RIM's best smartphone right now, and
many companies might opt for that smartphone alone, rather than for the tablet
4. BlackBerry Storm2
If it's a BlackBerry with a touch screen enterprise customers
are after, then they can always opt for the BlackBerry Storm2. That device
might not come close to matching the quality of other smartphones, but it
delivers the touch-screen experience that some folks are looking for. Plus, it
will likely turn out to be cheaper than the PlayBook, though it's impossible to
know that for sure until RIM announces the tablet's pricing. Regardless, the Storm2
could be a fine alternative to the PlayBook