February 22, 2012
New RIM Playbook Upgrade Includes Email
Research In Motion, the maker of the Blackberry line of smartphones, has finally unleashed the power of its new Playbook line of tablet computers. The Playbook, launched in April 2011, has finally had email, contacts and a calendar added to its new QNX OS, also called PlayBook 2.0, reports Reuters.
The software update releases Playbook users from having to tether themselves to a Blackberry for email use.
Frost and Sullivan analyst Craig Cartier told Reuters reports Alastair Sharp and Euan Rocha: “It´s what the first Playbook software should have been from a company which stakes its brand on messaging strength, with tightly integrated calendar, email, and contacts.”
The success of the Playbook may determine the future success of the smartphone company. The tablet is RIM´s first device to run on QNX and provides the blueprint for future products including the new Blackberry that will be released by the end of the year.
RIM hopes the latest upgrade will bring more developers into the QNX system. The company needs more applications to become available as the launch of the new Blackberry 10 edges closer.
RBC Capital Markets analyst Mike Abramsky told the Reuters reporters: “RIM appears to have re-positioned PlayBook from a standalone profit center at launch (at $499) to an investment to build and seed developer interest in its next-generation platform ahead of the launch of BlackBerry 10 later this year.”
In order to make the PlayBook attractive to users, RIM added other new features, besides email. Blackberry Bridge allows users to control the tablet using their Blackberry smartphone.
Another attraction for users is a new lower price. To make their product competitive with the iPad or Android tablets RIM lowered the price to $200, instead of the original price of $500.
The BBC reports that in the last quarter RIM sold 150,000 Playbooks, compared to the 15.4 million iPad´s sold in the same period.
RIM and it´s lagging sales have even made changes to the top management of its company. RIM´s co-chief executives Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie departed last month, from the demands of the company´s investors. To help the company Thorsten Heins, a former Siemens AG executive who joined the company in 2007, has taken over the reins.
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