Research In Motion made some waves in the wireless sector when it announced that it would begin offering a tablet PC, dubbed the PlayBook, running on a new QNX-based mobile OS.
The move was seen as a way for the BlackBerry-maker to remain relevant in the fiercely competitive mobile sector, as a slew of vendors are releasing tablets — most running Android — this year in a race to grab some market share from Apple’s iPad.
But there may be a problem.
Users are expected to tether their PlayBook to their BlackBerry phone using BlackBerry Bridge, after which they can see the email and PIM data on the phone mirrored on the PlayBook.
This is a serious limitation, says Avi Greengart, a research director at Current Analysis. “By creating the PlayBook as a companion device rather than fully functional on its own, RIM is not only dramatically limiting sales to existing BlackBerry customers, it also means that RIM cannot use the PlayBook to bring people to the brand,” Greengart says.
Meanwhile, before the first PlayBook has even gone on sale, RIM (NASDAQ: RIMM) is already on record saying that several new versions are launching, including an LTE and an HSPA+ model. Also, there are rumors that RIM may start using some technology that would allow some PlayBooks to run Android mobile apps, even though doing so could potentially drag the company into a lawsuit between Google and Oracle over the technology.
For all the details on the different PlayBook models in the growing line, insight on the tethering issue and the latest implications of the Android support rumor, read the full story at EnterpriseMobileToday.com.