Blackberry Playbook announced - this IS an iPad killer

Mat Newman  September 28 2010 15:32:25
Have just read the specs for the soon to be released Blackberry Playbook.

Image:Blackberry Playbook announced - this IS an iPad killer

Key features and specifications of the BlackBerry PlayBook:
  • BlackBerry Tablet OS with support for symmetric multiprocessing
  • Ultra thin and portable:
  • Weighs less than a pound (approximately 0.9 lb or 400g)
  • Measures 5.1”x7.6”x0.4” (130mm x 193mm x 10mm)
  • 7” LCD, 1024 x 600, WSVGA, capacitive touch screen with full multi-touch and gesture support
  • Audio playback: MP3, AAC, WMA
  • HDMI video output
  • Wi-Fi – 802.11 a/b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
  • Connectors: microHDMI, microUSB, charging contacts
  • 1 GHz dual-core processor
  • 1 GB RAM
  • Video playback: 1080p HD Video, H.264, MPEG, DivX, WMV
  • Dual HD cameras (3 MP front facing, 5 MP rear facing), supports 1080p HD video recording
  • Open, flexible application platform with support for WebKit/HTML-5, Adobe Flash Player 10.1, Adobe Mobile AIR, Adobe Reader, POSIX, OpenGL, Java

Availability and price detail of Blackberry Play Book:

The BlackBerry PlayBook is expected to be available in retail outlets in the USA in early 2011 and will be available in other countries in the second quarter of 2011.

Initial Thoughts:


Full web-kit support means that there won't be many web-sites that this thing won't render, and the inclusion of flash and java means a true PC-like browsing experience on a mobile tablet.  Link that in with the 'unlimited' browsing capabilities of a typical Blackberry configuration (connected through a BES on a dedicated Blackberry plan) and you don't need to worry too much about excess data usage charges.

The multi-processing capabilities are another key factor, you will be able to execute two tasks simultaneously (the example quoted is 'watching a movie and browsing the web').

But the real killer: no dictated 'callers must both be using an iThing on WiFi' to do video calling.  As someone who travels frequently and uses Skype to video-call my family back home, this was one thing that left me bemused about the iPhone.

First device I've seen that could justly claim to be an iPad killer.


1Michael  09/28/2010 18:28:05  
Blackberry Playbook announced - this IS an iPad killer

Hi Mat,

Not sure about iPad killer but it certainly has potential. I read the specs this morning and whilst the CPU & RAM is great compared to the iPad plus USB inclusion it missed a few things for me.

No GPS included that I could see in the specs plus it has to pair with a Blackberry device for 3G access. I'm guessing you could maybe pair it wifi to something else with 3G access (Nokia, Android, JBed iPhone) but that wasn't clear.

The android tablets also look promising too however at some stage if you are going to buy a tablet style device you need to take the plunge knowing something new will be available by the time you take whatever it is you bought out of the box.

I'm still happy with the iPad, so much so when the trusty Nokia e71 died I bought an iPhone. That was a very hard choice for a Nokia fan boy too.

Hope your well. Ping me when your next in Sydney for a beer. Michael.

2Jason  09/28/2010 20:45:21  
Blackberry Playbook announced - this IS an iPad killer

Tish pish the PlayBook not an iPad killer :-)

The Apple brand is strong and cool. Despite the BlackBerry becoming 'cooler' with young people it's not up there with Apple.

Being technically more capable is a feature that's transitory and often not foremost in the mind of mass market consumers.

Apple AppStore is killer and my perception is that RIM's offering isn't even close to being a strong competitor.

We haven't seen any pricing yet. I haven't seen any claims about Battery life.

I'm interested in how I might transition my BlackBerry OS development skills to the PlayBook. I'm encouraged that they mention the words open and Java.

Curious they emphasise the Enterprise readiness of a device they call a playbook :-)

I'm looking forward to seeing the device. If it supports PDF natively and is easier to carry than the iPad then it might be a better fit for me.

3Andy Brunner  09/28/2010 21:33:22  
Blackberry Playbook announced - this IS an iPad killer

The iPad sells by approximatly 2 million a Month. That very hard to outsell.

4Jerry Carter  09/28/2010 22:17:17  
The Target Market

Two thumbs up on features. In a discussion about flash on the iPad a while back, I hashed over why Jobs was wrong to be so anti-flash. His world view is one of a single type of consumer and excluded the corporate user. Playbook will work better in a security (ultra) conscious corporate environment than the android (too open) or the Apple (not very n-tier).

That said, the stronger market will be, as you may have meant to indicate, where there is a BES. Usually this is not in the home but if BlackBerry plays the cards right, it may soon include universities and primary schools.

The security and policy control a BES gives you to me sells better to institutions than the any-man iPad or Android tablet will.

So it's not a question of numbers but of markets. The PlayBook has the potential to kill in the institutional market whereas the iPad is killing in the consumer market with its lead over competitors, just like the iPod has all other comers.

5Darren Duke  09/28/2010 22:40:24  
Blackberry Playbook announced - this IS an iPad killer

And the release date on this paper monster? Next year. There will have been another 6 to 10 million iPads sold by then.

Remember the Storm looked good on paper too.

RIM have to stop releasing re-active products, or if they do release them while the concept is still red hot. Not luke warm.

6Mat Newman

09/29/2010 8:15:49  Blackberry Playbook announced - this IS an iPad killer

@1 Michael: Looking forward to a quiet beverage :-) Pretty sure that the tethering is Blackberry's way of getting around the "one device" restriction on the BES, RIM have mentioned that a Mobile (cellular) network variant will be available soon, but I would expect that the Bluetooth would enable you to use your smart-phone as a modem like you can with existing devices (based on lack of hard info, I tentatively wait to be disappointed on this). That was one point that wasn't clear in any of the data on the web-site.

@2 Jason: Yep, iThings are all about the apps, and the outstanding touch. If you isolate the iThing's from the apps store, you have a pretty basic device with limited functionality other than the ability to browse the web. I've mentioned before what I think of the built-in apps on the iThing platform from a non-consumer perspective. With the ability to run Java apps natively, there are already a plethora of applications ready for the Playbook. Agree with you on the name :-)

@3 Andy: First to market always has an advantage, especially in this case when Apple hit their target market bang on - the consumer. We have iPads in our shop, and a couple of the guys have even switched from Blackberry to iPhones after their experience with their iThing. Will the availability of alternatives to the Apple devices turn this around? Maybe. Reports this year of Nokia's smart phone market share increasing to 40% in Q4 2009 - up from 35% - at the expense of Apple (Gartner), suggest that it is possible that an alternative device can find it's place in the market (in Nokia's case, the non-US market).

@4 Jerry: Totally agree, it's all about the market. I love the quote recently from GTD guru Dave Allen (@gtdguy) "iPad is for consumption, not generation. Fab for former, still sucks for latter. " That about sums it up. Business users need devices that are great at generating as well as consuming. It's a matter of time before either the Playbook hits business users allowing them to interact with business applications (as their existing Blackberry devices can now) or Apple changes the way you can provision to the device allowing corporate apps to be installed allowing them to interact with and generate corporate data. The c/22 is that consumers are turning up in droves at the office (especially high level execs) telling IT to make this (i)Thing work!

@5 Darren: And that's the problem for competitors with Apple being so innovative with their consumer devices in the past couple of years. Everyone is playing catch-up, not just RIM (see Nokia quotes above). In this case, it's the specifications of the device that on paper leave the iPad for dead. Fingers crossed the physical device meets the expectations set by the specs. I would be pretty annoyed if I turned the thing on - and just like on an iPhone 4 - couldn't do video calling through Skype.

Mat Newman IBM Champion

7Germ  05/30/2013 0:28:03  
Blackberry Playbook announced - this IS an iPad killer

I wonder how the playbook is faring compared to the iPad that it was forecast to kill.

8Mat Newman

05/30/2013 9:42:13  Blackberry Playbook announced - this IS an iPad killer

@7, Germ: and hence ... the last post that I ever wrote about a device that I hadn't actually used ;-)

Mat Newman IBM Champion

Mat Newman

THE Notes (formerly IBM/Lotus Notes) Guy. Productivity Guru. Evangelist. IBM Champion for IBM Collaboration Solutions, 2011/2012/2013. Former IBMer. HCLite. Views are my own.

#GetProductive #GetHCLNotes

Mat Newman

Home  | 

Get Serious. Get Domino.