The new PlayBook tablet announced by Research in Motion on September 27 has already received a lot of media attention, However, it seems the RIM PlayBook is going to be a little different than many people first thought.
When the PlayBook was announced, lots of people seemed to think that RIM were trying to compete with Apple and Android devices in the growing marketplace for consumer tablets. However, now that more people have had a a chance to analyse the PlayBook – it seems it is a true multitasking, high performance device that has as many similarities to a netbook as an iPad.
The RIM PlayBook is not designed to provide a rich multimedia experience – and not much else – like the majority of consumer tablets hitting the shelves. It has much bigger aspirations indeed. This is a device aimed squarely at the business end of town, with cameras for video conferencing, business app compatibility, and enterprise grade security.
There is also a 1GHz dual-core processor on-board, 1GB of RAM, and a QNX Neutrino microkernel architecture. The PlayBook also offers support for 1080p video playback and has HDMI out for playing content on a HDTV – so despite its small 7 inch screen – it will also be able to compete with consumer media-focused tablets in many ways.
While there is no reason to think the RIM PlayBook wont also be a hit with the consumer market, much of the app development process is tailored to business users. Some of the applications that have been unveiled include the Blackberry Messenger Social Platform, Blackberry WebWorks Application Platform, Enterprise Application Development Platform, and a Blackberry Advertising Service that will run alongside the applications.
IMS Research analyst Anna Hunt has said “RIM does have a strong brand and cool appeal, which will benefit the company in the tablet space, but they will have to do something impressive in terms of managed services and content to win share away from iPad and Android tablets.” This will probably be the biggest stumbling block for RIM, although this tablet seems to have the technology to live up to these challenges.