I wrote about RIM's PlayBook back in September comparing it to Palm's never released Foleo. At CES RIM showed off the PlayBook running it's "Bridge" software that tethers your BlackBerry via Bluetooth to the PlayBook in order to use the Email, Calendar, Messaging, and BBM apps on the PlayBook. If you don't have a BlackBerry you will not be able to use Email, Calendar, Messaging, or BBM.Additional Comments
RIM should not be building "Bridge" software, especially when that "Bridge" only bridges itself to a BlackBerry. You've got to wonder what's going on if you're buying a device from a company that needs to build software to get Email, Calendar, and Messaging working, and only working by using a separate device from the same company.A tablet should not have to rely on a phone to do Email, Calendar, Messaging, and in RIM's case its very own BBM. A bridge to nowhere is still a bridge to nowhere.
Today a former RIM executive has gone on the record with Business Insider saying the PlayBook will flop. One of the main reasons is:
" * The first Wi-Fi-only version won't be able to connect to a lot of corporate BlackBerry email accounts unless the user also has a BlackBerry phone near the PlayBook and uses the PlayBook's tethering capability.
This last point sounds completely insane, given that corporate email is the entire reason the BlackBerry exists. But Reddy just got back from CES, and said that this is what the BlackBerry booth team told him. We've contacted RIM for comment, and haven't heard back."
I can't agree with Mr. Geddes more about RIM's "Bridge" software. Seriously, RIM? You need to tether a PlayBook with a BlackBerry to gain access to messaging applications? Didn't you guys learn anything from Palm's Foleo/Treo tethering disaster? Maybe you guys should shelf the PlayBook and focus on getting the QNX OS ported over to new BlackBerry handsets, BlackBerry handsets; which I'll point out, are your core competency. There will be time to chase the iPad later. For right now, you need to be worried about losing smartphone marketshare to handsets running Google Android and Apple iOS.