BlackBerry PlayBook Tablet Finds a Fit With Law Enforcement
RIM is at risk of losing some government customers, but the compatibility of the BlackBerry PlayBook in new police deployments—and smaller cars—could help balance that out.
The BlackBerry PlayBook has stumbled since its April 2011 debut, as ittoo aggressively for some tastesworked to address the security needs of its enterprise customers in a form factor as playful as the Apple iPad. Even with email onboard and a variety of updates, though, its success is coming gradually, far from the home run that Research in Motions earlier executive lineup suggested was imminent, when they rolled out the tablet in more than 20,000 retail outlets.
But now, as RIM trims and tightens itself, working toward new CEO Thorsten Heins mandate to stay laser-focused on whats core to the company, an opportunity has presented itself in a key RIM vertical: law enforcement. With government customers said to be slowly leaving RIM, and RIMs newest BlackBerry 10 handsets still months awaygiving consumers reason to stray to the iPhonepublic service could be a sweet spot, helping to grow RIMs customer base and sell tablets.
RIM got a lucky break in September 2011 when the last Ford Crown Victoriaa popular police cruiserrolled off an assembly line. With this land yacht retired, police departments can now choose from a handful of American-made options (nevermind that that Ford assembly line was in RIMs home of Ontario), all of them far smaller than the Crown Vic, necessitating a rethink of all that when into the cars.
Police vehicles undergo a crash test at 70 mph, making all the airbags deploy. Any piece of equipment that has a part break off, potentially injuring an officer, doesnt make it into the vehicle, Ken Koke, a constable with Ontarios Chatham-Kent police department, explained during a May 1 session at RIMs BlackBerry World 2012 event.
Koke drives one of the five police cruisers in the world currently equipped with a BlackBerry PlayBook.
Theres only one wireless handheld thats approved for [secure government use] in Canada, said Koke. BlackBerry is the only solution that offers two-factor authentication out-of-the-box.