RIM PlayBook will ship without email, calendar; not a fully standalone device, requires BlackBerry

Apple Online Store“One of the more unusual aspects of the upcoming tablet from BlackBerry maker Research In Motion is the fact that users need to synch their BlackBerrys to it to fully access their email, calendars and memos,” Elizabeth Woyke reports for Forbes.

“The quirk has prompted some analysts to describe the device, which is called PlayBook, in cautious terms,” Woyke reports. “In a Jan. 10 research note titled ‘RIM Fumbles the PlayBook,’ Current Analysis Research Director Avi Greengart writes, ‘The PlayBook is not a fully standalone device…it is astonishing that RIM would go this route.'”

“The PlayBook, in its current incarnation, does not include the kinds of personal information manager [PIM] applications that BlackBerrys do,” Woyke reports. “That means services like a calendar, contacts list and memos won’t appear on the PlayBook unless a BlackBerry is (wirelessly) connected to it. Corporate email accounts also don’t live “natively” on the PlayBook. In the absence of a BlackBerry, these email accounts must be accessed through a web browser.”

“RIM contends the PlayBook is a good investment with or without a BlackBerry… ‘On its own, this is a great standalone tablet,’ said Ryan Bidan, a RIM senior product manager in charge of the PlayBook, in an interview… ‘There have been some misconceptions about the role this device plays,’ says Bidan. Without a BlackBerry, the PlayBook is a solid, Wi-Fi-enabled tablet ‘in its own right,’ he contends. Add in a BlackBerry and the PlayBook becomes more useful because it gains additional capabilities, says Bidan.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Forget about battery issues. Forget about usability issues due to too small a screen (7-inch). Forget about RIM’s years-long string of failed pretend iPhones (Storm and Storm 2). Forget about the AppLack™. None of that even matters if RIM insists upon hamstringing their pretend iPad with the requirement that it connect to an antiquated device that is rapidly losing market share and mindshare. RIM’s “PlayBook” is using a losing playbook.

[Attribution: Electronista. Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dan K.” for the heads up.]


  1. I’m totally confused now.

    We knew the PlayBook wouldn’t run any BlackBerry apps. We knew there wasn’t an ecosystem in place. We knew there wouldn’t be any of the popular apps available on iOS or even lesser platforms, but now we find out there’s no mail, calendar, address book or memo app?

    It also doesn’t have 3G, so in practical terms, when traveling, you need a BlackBerry (if you have a PlayBook). Really is this thing is just an external monitor for BlackBerry devices?

    Ok, that’s fine. I could see paying a hundred dollars or so for an external monitor for my smartphone. It would be great to show videos and presentations in conference rooms and…wait, what? This external monitor is only 7″, good God, this is just sad.

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