Why Playbook Won’t Solve RIM’s Problems

By Denis Margolin

Business Insider turned to DataArt for an expert opinion on the future of RIM’s Playbook. Denis Margolin, Vice President of Mobile Solutions, believes the Playbook is among “half-baked but ambitious products” not ready to compete with Apple’s iPad.

“What are competitors doing to win market share and get their piece of the tablet pie? Release product as soon as possible – even if incomplete – just to establish their footing in this fast-growth market.

The launch of the BlackBerry Playbook from RIM is a good example of this premature, product strategy. Playbook was kicked out of the door with number of important features missing. Most notable, Personal Information Management (PIM) functionality is not accessible unless you pair the device with the BlackBerry handset you already own. And even in this case you have to use your handset’s cellular data connection to work with your e-mail and contact lists.

PIM is undeniably one of the most important features of the tablet device, making Playbook, in its current state, totally unappealing to non-BlackBerry users. RIM however, promises fixes are just around the corner. But what consumer is willing to purchase a product on future promises? And now, this rush to market approach has resulted in a product recall of 1,000 Playbooks due to a bug in the operating system. Most likely a pre-production version of the software made its way to market allowing no time for quality assurance measures to be taken and no chance to double-check what version was used for production.

It’s unclear why RIM is focusing on the tablet in the first place when its primary concern should be addressing an obsolete handset operating system (OS). While its business was built on providing premium corporate e-mail service, today this value proposition is hardly unique. Across the feature/functionality check-list, RIM handsets are losing the battle to iOS, Android and even WP7. Plus BlackBerry users incur additional infrastructure costs for the BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES).”

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