Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Research In Motion Missed The Boat

Let me start of by saying that I am not a tech blogger. There are thousands of people who can and will do it better than me. I've only written on technology post and that was way back in 2010 on what I hoped the iPad would be. Last week at CES in Las Vegas, Research In Motion (RIM from now on) has inspired the second.
A few months ago, RIM let it be known to the world that like most electronics manufacturers, they were going to help mark 2011 at the year of the tablet, and introduce their version, called Playbook. For those that don't know, RIM is the maker of the hugely popular Blackberry line of phones.
With the Playbook, they were entering the realm that is currently ruled by Apple and their aforementioned iPad. Apple was not the first one to the party, but they have taken tablets to a new height after the iPad launched in 2010. RIM wants a piece of that still developing pie. And quite frankly, they way that BB phones are popular amongst business crowds and early twenty-somethings, well if RIM can design something like that, they have a huge head start.
The BB operating system is old and very outdated, unfortunately, and RIM knows this, buying a company called QNX Software Systems and using them to develop the QNX platform that will be the basis of the Playbook and future BB's as well.
Now, for me, and I'm sure countless others, is that I want my tablet to run like a cellphone without the ability to make calls. A laptop, but more portable. The ability to compose emails, check my calendar, send messages to friends, etc. is what I want from that experience. Anyone who has used a BB in the past 5 years knows that there is nothing better to communicate with friends then BB messenger. The ability to send a message, know when someone read it, someone is composing a message is an unbelievable convenience when trying to get a group of friends to one place. In fact, the ability to create groups of friends from BB messenger as well is priceless. Right there is where RIM missed the boat. By a mile.
In order to use BB messenger, you Playbook has to be tethered to you BB via something that RIM is calling Bridge. Basically you have to merge the two via Bluetooth and viola, BB messenger on your Playbook. Which defeats the purpose of a tablet from RIM to me.
I can almost see why RIM would do that. If the Playbook didn't have 3G capabilities, then yeah of course you're going to need to tether your BB to it to surf the Internet while in your car. Except it does have a 3G radio. In fact, I'm not entirely sure they will make a version with just wifi. So honestly, that decision makes zero sense. If I'm sitting in a park with my BB, why would I "bridge" my BB to my Playbook? I'm in a park, I want to use my tablet just like my cellphone. I don't want to have to bring both, just to communicate otherwise I'll just use the BB without having to lug around an extra device.

No comments: