The long awaited BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 is finally out. RIM released PlayBook last year and PlayBook OS 2.0 is the first software update for the tablet, coming out after almost one year later. The original plans of RIM were to release PlayBook OS 2.0 in December 2011. RIM is already two months behind on the original schedule.
Now, BlackBerry tablets have a native e-mail app, which was the most deficient feature in the original PlayBook OS, along with some other newly added apps. Blackberry smartphone owners can now control PlayBook through the BlackBerry Bridge app. The Calendar and Contacts apps have also been included in this version. Social networking has been boosted with Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn support. Selected Android apps will now run on PlayBook too. RIM has also dropped the PlayBook tablet prices. Users can now buy 16 GB PlayBook for $200 and 64 GB Playbook tablet for just $321. This puts the PlayBook in the same price range as Amazon’s Kindle Fire, which is available for $199.
The update was surely necessary and Blackberry users are happy with this OTA update. But it might not be good enough to draw the attention of non-BlackBerry people. Especially at this moment, when the focus of most tablet users are on Apple’s upcoming iPad 3.
Many arbiters said that the original Playbook OS was not enough as it lacked the native e-mail app and there was nothing catchy in it. And, in this update too, BlackBerry has failed to surprise PlayBook users as the contents in the update were pre-calculated. BlackBerry has just added what was lacking in Playbook OS, nothing extra or exciting. In comparison, Samsung has done some serious work with Galaxy Tab and Amazon has also surprised us with Kindle Fire. However, RIM has failed to weave any magic.
With this new update, RIM wants to further grow its business and clear the unsold tablet inventory. But, is it really at that level? Well, it can be said to be a nice try, but not enough to change the tablet market share figures.
Blackberry PlayBook couldn’t even beat Kindle Fire in sales, leave aside the iPad. People were looking for a budget multimedia tablet with good e-mail support. And Kindle Fire ended their search in Q4 of 2011. As for those who want a high-end tablet, the iPad, Galaxy Tab or Asus Transformer Prime are possible options.
PlayBook doesn’t fit anywhere. Pitting it against the iPad is like pitting a kid with a pop gun against a soldier armed with a bazooka. Yes, Playbook 2.0 is a nice update but it is too little, too late. It’s good but not good enough to help PlayBook gain any market share. What do you think? Can it save RIM? leave your comments below.
(Reported by Johnny Wills, Edited by Surojit Chatterjee)