There is no question the the big news out of DevCon 2010 last week was the announcement of the BlackBerry PlayBook, RIM’s first attempt at a table device. The BlackBerry PlayBook had been rumored for months to be coming out by the holiday season this year, however, Rodman & Renshaw analyst Ashok Kumar says that RIM aborted 2010 BlackBerry PlayBook launch plans due to “technical issues”.
In a research note, Kumar contends the company’s new QNX Neutrino software platform “was not ready for prime time.” He also says that the Marvell (MRVL) Armada 610 application processor the company had planned to use was “bug ridden.” Kumar says the company has “jettisoned” Marvell from the PlayBook in favor of a processor from Texas Instruments.
Research in Motion has stated that the BlackBerry PlayBook will launch “early” next year. The problem for RIM, however, is that early next year in marketing speak means any time before the midpoint of the year, or, by the end of June. If the PlayBook doesn’t come out before the summer of 2011, RIM may have missed its window of opportunity to have released a new device that sounds cooler than its competition. By next summer we should have a bunch of Android tablets, a new iPad or two, and even a few Palm Tablets that sport similar hardware configurations to what was announced to be coming in the BlackBerry PlayBook.
I really would like to see RIM do well with their tablet device. Let’s just hope that when they said the the PlayBook would launch early next year, they really meant winter or early Spring next year…