RIM's new BlackBerry PlayBook tablet runs Android applications. That's the good news. But, as Knowledge Center mobile and wireless analyst J. Gerry Purdy explains here, the really bad news is that RIM's new BlackBerry PlayBook tablet won't run native email.
In Motion just
announced that it is finally shipping the BlackBerry
I hate to tell you, but I've got some good news and bad news.
start on a positive note. RIM has announced support for running Android
applications on the BlackBerry PlayBook. If you purchase a BlackBerry PlayBook,
you will be able to use the Android Marketplace
any of more than 200,000 Android applications and have the application run on
the BlackBerry PlayBook. Since the BlackBerry PlayBook is an entirely new
platform running RIM's new QNX operating system
there are not many native QNX applications. RIM's engineers figured out a way
to run Android applications, giving them a large number of applications that
customers can use right away.
announced that QNX will support running Java applications as well. This will
enable the BlackBerry PlayBook to run more than 25,000 Java applications. These
two players for Android and Java will kick-start RIM for the BlackBerry
The bad news
before you get too excited, I have to give you some really bad news: the
BlackBerry PlayBook won't run native email. I know exactly how you're going to
react; at least this is how my son Jason Purdy
Program Manager for the Associated Press, reacted:
was shocked when I found out the BlackBerry PlayBook wouldn't do native email.
Are they crazy? That's so insane. BlackBerry is
email. How are they
going to sell a new tablet device in today's world that won't run email?"
there, Jason. I believe you've overreacted a bit. I didn't get to finish what I
was saying. The BlackBerry PlayBook actually does run a form of email by
providing a viewer/remote control of your BlackBerry smartphone. Here's the way
it works. You bring your BlackBerry smartphone close to the BlackBerry PlayBook
and launch the BlackBerry email viewer/remote control application. It uses
Bluetooth to connect with your BlackBerry smartphone. Then the application
allows you to manage your email through your BlackBerry smartphone. It uses the
larger screen so you can better view your messages. The PlayBook does do email,
just not native in the device. RIM promises that native email will be available
later in the year. So, you'll only have to put up with a little inconvenience
for a few months."
Know-it-all, what if I don't have a BlackBerry smartphone? The BlackBerry
PlayBook will only do online email. If all it will do is let me to manage my
BlackBerry smartphone (assuming I have one), why don't I just use my BlackBerry
smartphone for email and not fuss with all that rigmarole? Why didn't those
esteemed, high-paid execs at RIM wait to ship the BlackBerry PlayBook until it
had native email? Are they hurting that bad to get a few months of additional
revenue while ticking off just about every customer that buys the device?"
Jason, I'm sure that the RIM execs thought that, since the BlackBerry PlayBook
is targeted primarily at enterprise customers, that enterprise IT staff could
get a few BlackBerry PlayBook units, begin development and testing, and then,
when they were ready to roll the BlackBerry PlayBook out to their employees,
native email would be available."
you have to remember you are supposed to make life easier for customers, Dad.
They should have withheld the need to generate revenue with a
not-ready-for-prime-time product and made a bigger splash when they were ready
to ship the product with native email."
agree with you, Jason. Perhaps they thought that the issue would bring a lot of
publicity to them-even if much of it was negative."
I think things will look up for RIM and the BlackBerry PlayBook. However, right
now, there's one very big problem: RIM should not be selling the BlackBerry
PlayBook yet, at least not until they fix the gigantic problem and provide
native email. I recommend that anyone who is interested in the BlackBerry
PlayBook hold off until RIM provides native email. Then, it should receive
Gerry Purdy, Ph.D. is Principal Analyst of Mobile & Wireless at MobileTrax
LLC. As a
nationally recognized industry authority, Dr. Purdy focuses on monitoring and
analyzing emerging trends, technologies and market behavior in the mobile
computing and wireless data communications industry in North America. Dr. Purdy
is an "edge of network" analyst looking at devices, applications and
services, as well as wireless connectivity to those devices. Dr. Purdy provides
critical insights regarding mobile and wireless devices, wireless data
communications and connection to the infrastructure that powers the data in the
wireless handheld. He is author of the column Inside Mobile & Wireless that
provides industry insights and is read by over 100,000 people a month.
Purdy continues to be affiliated with the venture capital industry as well. He
currently is Managing Director at Yosemite Ventures. And he spent five years as
a Venture Advisor for Diamondhead Ventures in Menlo Park where he identified,
attracted and recommended investments in emerging companies in mobile and
wireless. He has had a prior affiliation with East Peak Advisors and,
subsequently, following their acquisition, with FBR Capital Markets. For more
than 16 years, Dr. Purdy has been consulting, speaking, researching,
networking, writing and developing state-of-the-art concepts that challenge people's
mind-sets, as well as developing new ways of thinking and forecasting in the
mobile computing and wireless data arenas. Often quoted, Dr. Purdy's ideas and
opinions are followed closely by thought leaders in the mobile and wireless
industry. He is author of three books as well.
Purdy currently is a member of the Program Advisory Board of the Consumer
Electronics Association (CEA) which produces CES, one of the largest trade
shows in the world. He is a frequent moderator at CTIA conferences and GSM
Mobile World Congress. He also is a member of the Board of the Atlanta Wireless
Technology Forum. Dr. Purdy has a B.S. degree in Engineering Physics from
University of Tennessee, a M.S. degree in Computer Science from UCLA, and a
Ph.D. in Computer Science and Exercise Physiology from Stanford University. He
can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Statement: From time to time, I may have a direct or indirect equity position
in a company that is mentioned in this column. If that situation happens, then
I'll disclose it at that time.