RIM Built Its Own Barriers to PlayBook Success

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2010-09-30 Print this article Print


5. Dell Streak 

The 5-inch Dell Streak is arguably one of the least useful tablets on the market. But in the coming weeks and months, Dell plans to offer 7- and 10-inch versions. When those products launch, it could drastically change how Dell's tablets are viewed by customers. For RIM, that could be trouble, considering how highly respected and entrenched Dell is in the enterprise. 

6. HP's future tablets 

HP is undoubtedly working on tablets to take on Apple's iPad in the consumer space and the RIM PlayBook in the enterprise. In fact, its recent acquisition of Palm indicates that it might be planning to use WebOS in its line of devices, in addition to a planned Windows-based Slate. Either way, a strong showing from HP's Windows-based tablet could be the death knell for the PlayBook in the enterprise. After all, most companies would likely choose a Windows-based device over one with BlackBerry's operating system. 

7. RIM's new OS 

Speaking of that new operating system, it's tough to say whether or not RIM will deliver what companies are looking for. And it's possible that its functionality could drive customers away to other operating systems that deliver more of what they're looking for.  Clearly there is a lot riding on the PlayBook's operating system, which leave RIM in a position where it can't make a mistake. 

8. Android OS 

Android OS is poised to take on Apple's iOS in the tablet space. In fact, the operating system is coming to a slew of new tablets in the coming months. As that happens, it might be hard for the PlayBook to overcome Android's success. After all, Google's operating system has been beating RIM's BlackBerry OS handily in the smartphone space. Why would anyone think it won't' do the same in the tablet market? 

9. Apple's App Store 

Third-party applications mean more in the post-iPhone world than ever before. That's especially true in the tablet space. Realizing that, Apple's App Store could easily derail RIM's PlayBook. After all, the iPad is a proven device that developers want to spend time writing programs for. The PlayBook has months before it's released, and RIM hasn't always shown it cares about mobile apps as much as it should. However, consumers and enterprise customers want apps, and if they get more from Apple's App Store, they will opt for the iPad, for sure. 

10. RIM PlayBook 

It might sound odd to include the PlayBook itself in a roundup of products that could derail it, but the reality is, RIM's tablet could very well be the reason its tablet business fails. Out of the box, the tablet lacks 3G; includes a small, 7-inch display; and features a new operating system that might or might not appeal to users. Simply put, there is a lot riding on the success of the PlayBook. Some glaring omissions and inopportune choices could turn out to be the main reason RIM's tablet strategy bites the dust.


Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.

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