Blackberry Playbook to launch in Bengaluru on June 22, for 32,000 for basic WIFI version

At a time when Apple iPad2 has already upped the stakes, and close to its heels is Samsung 10.1 Galaxy Tab with Android Honeycomb 3.1 (the latest and greatest android flavour), Blackberry has announced in the Times of India regarding its Playbook launch. It has promised freebies like HDMI cable (a Rs.300 value) and a leather cover for the tablet (about a thousand bucks worth). So is this enough to lure you to buy one?


Lets in short see whats going in favour of the playbook and what’s not to help you decide.


The Pros:

  • It runs QNX real time operating system which is proven, handles multitasking effectively and is known to be similar to linux in terms of capabilities
  • The user interface has been thoroughly worked upon and there will be no doubt that this tablet will present a sweet user interface which will be easy to work with
  • Being Blackberry it will no doubt come with many options, including advanced configuration options for the technically inclined, making it a great tablet to work with
  • Its ability to run multiple applications including time and memory consuming tasks such as media playback simultaneously with other things is a good effort.
  • At 425 gms this is going to be surely one easy tablet to carry around.
  • Multitouch gestures make it equivalent to Apple, but this is now an expectation more than a feature release due to the standard set by Apple!
  • 1GHz dual core processor and 1GB RAM is good to run many applications but the video and graphics rendering performance still waits to be proven
  • Adobe Flash support is a plus one over apple which does not have it
  • 3MP front facing and 5MP rear facing cameras must be enough for most jobs
  • Both these cameras are 1080p compliant which is good

The Cons:

  • India is a price sensitive market. When the 10″ iPad2 is available at 29,500 for the WiFi version and the 7″ Galaxy tab is available at a little lower, would a pricing of 32,500 be justified for a 7″ RIM playbook? – No, in my opinion
  • They say on their website “Application rich eco system”, which is a farce. No one can beat apple on the amount of applications on their app store. Not even google for some more time. With icloud launch apple just pulled another fast one on google. RIM is left in the lurch with this kind of claim and it will be ages before they get some good apps on their store. I mean, how can the availability of Need for Speed help my productivity? Get the idea?
  • This tablet is a 7″. The recommended size for good fonts and readability is 10″. Which is why even Samsung now has a 10″ and which is why even Apple has a 10″. A 7″ tablet is at best good to hold and carry across. On the usability, I have my own doubts. For media viewing anything less than 10″ is like a car DVD player. eye strain comes free with it.
  • Blackberry’s promised support for using Android apps, has not taken off properly yet. Without this, RIM has no teeth left to face competition. This tablet would have sold well if it were priced between 20,000 and 25,000 rupees. Unfortunately at a whopping 32,500 bucks RIM is making the same mistake Samsung did with their 7″ Galaxy. Now that apple has plugged the pricing hole, it has set the benchmark on how people should price their products. RIM is on the way to disaster if the pricing is what it is on the playbook.

Summarizing the article, RIM is launching Blackberry playbook at a time when the market has already smelt the meat which Apple has launched at an USA-equivalent pricing with the iPad2. Samsung which has make a killing with its 7″ tablet will soon get its Android Honeycomb 3.1 10.1″ Galaxy tab which is even thinner than iPad. A failing RIM has a big task ahead with the Playbook and all its similar looking QWERTY phones which it has been famous for, until now that is. Only the true and faithful would still stick to RIM and its products. At a pricing of over thirty Gandhi notes, your guess of how many tablets RIM will be able to sell is only as good as mine.


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