Blackberry Playbook: RIM’s Best Play Yet?
Transport yourself back to the early 2000’s, when RIM’s BlackBerries were the most coveted business tool available, the iPhone was merely a twinkle in Steve Jobs’ eye and Windows mobile wasn’t exactly a great choice for a secure business phone.
Those were heady days when RIM seemed untouchable, then came the iPhone, and the resulting, competing BlackBerry Storm. Then the problems began: the Storm2 didn’t even come close to the 3G and 3GS and comparing the Torch to the iPhone 4 is an almost useless exercise.
Then came the iPad, a flawed device, but nevertheless one that captivated the world and Apple seemed to have the consumer mobile industry almost sewn up. Samsung’s Galaxy Tab is running an OS that its creators admit isn’t made for tablet use.
Then, the Playbook was announced, and what a piece of hardware it is. Dual core processor, dual cameras, a far superior pixel-density to the iPad, 4 times (4 times!) the ram of the iPad. I could go on, but it seems that this is everything that the iPad should have been.
The best part of the Playbook, in my opinion, is the fact that RIM isn’t trying to copy Apple; they are doing something new, something which almost harks back to their very first smartphones. They've called it ‘the first professional tablet’ and, with the messaging and email capabilities of a BlackBerry, as well as some very cool, original features, the Playbook is looking pretty amazing for consumers and businesspeople alike.
Of course, the Storm and Storm2 were very good devices on paper too, but once they found their way to reviewers' hands the news was not good. The software was the big problem, a problem some people feel is too common with RIM's operating systems.
But even here there is reason for optimism: RIM has purchased QNX for the sole purpose (so far anyway) of building software for the Playbook, and it looks like the illegitimate love child of BB6 and WebOS, and it looks good. Add in the new Webkit browser and the hardware it’s running on, plus Flash 10.1, and this may be something worth getting excited over.
I might even buy a Storm3 with my Playbook.