RIM's PlayBook: 10 Products That Could Dash Its Prospects for Success

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 enterprise-focused tablet 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 too.

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.

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger is a longtime freelance contributor to several technology and business publications. Over his career, Don has written about everything from geek-friendly gadgetry to issues of privacy...