It was finally the time for BlackBerry PlayBook, the newly launched tablet from Research in Motion, to hit the store shelves. Unlike iPad, the PlayBook did not see any long queue outside the stores. Several observers, who were eagerly waiting for PlayBook’s launch, termed the response as subdued.
The early reviews for BlackBerry PlayBook have definitely not been glowing. At the same time, some retailers told Reuters that pre-orders of the device suggests a pent up demand in the market for a tablet which did not belong to the iOS family.
In 2007, Apple decided to challenge the dominance of BlackBerry in the smartphone segment by launching the iPhone and it succeeded. BlackBerry PlayBook is trying to reverse the situation with the launch of the tablet.
A major criticism of the tablet is that users need to make a wireless connection between the PlayBook and BlackBerry handset to enable the former to access the secure emails the company is known for. The company has responded by saying that the native email client will be provided through an update within 60 days.
The BlackBerry PlayBook is, in a way, trying to strike a balance between two worlds – the consumer market and enterprise market. The consumer market is already in love with the Apple iPad. The enterprise market, on the other hand, has used BlackBerry handsets for a long time, especially due to the secure environment it allows them to operate in.
The BlackBerry PlayBook approach also makes sense because Motorola Xoom tried to beat Apple in its own backyard (the consumer category) and it failed. Research in Motion is not taking that chance, and continues to woo the business customers and will keep adding features that attract the consumers.
Another interesting thing to note is the way BlackBerry handset market strategy has gone. The company first wooed the enterprise customers, and then moved to attract the other users. The same may happen with BlackBerry PlayBook too, though slightly faster.