RIM's PlayBook Graduates From Useless to Irrelevant

So far, Research In Motion's (Nasdaq: RIMM  ) PlayBook has lived a dejected life. The mullet of a device has suffered congenital disabilities throughout its existence, namely the lack of several basic productivity applications like email, calendar, or contacts.

After the initial criticism for such egregious omissions, the company promised that it would deliver them, only to delay it multiple times to a February launch. Well it's February now, and at long last RIM has delivered PlayBook OS 2.0, finally bringing those three basic functionalities to the device. The PlayBook is no longer entirely useless; instead, it's been promoted to the status of irrelevant.

Source: Official BlackBerry Blog.

It's amazing that it took Research In Motion a solid 10 months after launch to deliver features that should be a mainstay of any mobile device. It seems the company put support for various Google (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) Android apps higher on the priority list, as PlayBook owners were able to play popular games like Angry Birds or Plants Vs. Zombies before they could natively email, as those titles have been ported over to the BlackBerry App World.

The software update comes just in time for the PlayBook to be promptly obliterated by the iPad 3, which is widely expected to be unveiled by Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) within weeks. Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN  ) is also rumored to launch a second-generation Kindle Fire in the second quarter, further making the PlayBook irrelevant.

As hard as it's trying, RIM simply can't seem to find homes for its written-down PlayBook inventory. The company has now resorted to giving them away to Android developers. The deadline for that promotion has passed, but RIM has decided to extend it even further until March 2. RIM attributed the extension to "overwhelming interest in the offer," but I'm skeptical of that notion.

We've already seen RIM fib a bit on its site before with claims that high volumes of orders were causing delays. I wouldn't be surprised if this was another little white lie, and the only thing overwhelming is RIM's glut of unsold tablets.

Sorry, RIM. Too little, too late.

Research In Motion is on a crash course and has left the mobile party prematurely, which is a shame, because the mobile revolution is going to be huge. Just because RIM is missing out, that doesn't mean you have to. We've just released a brand-new, 100% free report that details one stock that is in an enviable position powering the mobile trillion-dollar revolution from the inside, while also having exposure to China's red-hot growth. Grab the report now to find out what company I'm talking about.

Fool contributor Evan Niu owns shares of Apple and Amazon.com, but he holds no other position in any company mentioned. Check out his holdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of Google, Amazon.com, and Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Google, Apple, and Amazon.com and creating a bull call spread position in Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


Read/Post Comments (12) | Recommend This Article (2)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

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  • Report this Comment On February 21, 2012, at 10:08 PM, dkhomikh wrote:

    It is a very negative article. BlackBerry playbook is a superb device. Author should do some research to find out how high is real customers satisfaction. I bet that after having experience with playbook author would be embarrassed of what they wrote. PlayBook is an excellent informational, enertament, and business device. It is built on quality and way superior to ipad.

  • Report this Comment On February 21, 2012, at 11:03 PM, daveraj wrote:

    Nice hit piece. You get paid to write this garbage? If you own shares in Amazon and Apple, which I do as well, the Fool should not be paying you to write such biased articles.

  • Report this Comment On February 22, 2012, at 4:55 AM, Bunnyturd wrote:

    dkhomikh said Playbook is "build on quality and way superior to iPad" .... LMFAO

    The Playbook is a piece of crap. You have no idea what you are talking about. The vast majority of the consumers would agree. This is the reason why it sold so poorly.

  • Report this Comment On February 22, 2012, at 7:03 AM, skywolf007 wrote:

    Ok, now I can see why the author did such a negative review.

    1. I assume you never had a blackberry playbook in your hand, especially with the OS2 installed on it. As it has been mentioned before its a superb device, and its much better than any other tablet on the market(including the Ipad2 - YES i own one, and I dont use it and I regret I spent money on it)

    2. Ofcourse the author owns amazon and apple shares, but now rim. just look at his profile. If I would own apple and amazon but no rim I would write the same crappy comments about the playbook, so everyone goes out and buy ipad or kindle so the stock prices go up and I get money.

    3. Please next time if you write and article do not do it without any research. Its easy to blame something you never had in your hand and give god-like features to other tablets(mostly because you own shares in companies) If you want to write a report and you want to be accurate, do a research!!! what you did in this article is simply a paid commercial for apple and amazon.

  • Report this Comment On February 22, 2012, at 8:43 AM, rascal669 wrote:

    I now understand why the name "Mootly Fool". How can they let some one write an article like this. I have a paly book. It is amazingly fast and useful. For the price I paid it was the best gudget I ever had even without the current upgrade.

  • Report this Comment On February 22, 2012, at 9:18 AM, steveat wrote:

    The problem with Playbook is that cross platform dev is not as streamlined as Apple is with iphone/ipad/macbook.

    The OS is poor for Rimm in that it takes forever to actually download/update anything and it is very difficult to attract developers because apps keep breaking from one device to the next.

    There are a couple other reasons, but I won't bore you and I got it from the horses mouth as I know someone in Rimm.

  • Report this Comment On February 22, 2012, at 9:32 AM, etgh wrote:

    Gee I wonder how much the "author" got paid to write this crap ?

    It's clear this gut has never had a Playbook in his hands nor is he interested in responsible journalism. Clearly he's in it for the graft.

    I for one will pay no attention to this clown. I hope many others feel the same.

  • Report this Comment On February 22, 2012, at 9:55 AM, infektu wrote:

    @author

    you're free to use whatever adjectives.

    If you use "irrelevant" for something that would probably have 5-10% share in 3-6 months, can we ignore you?

    Or do you use "irrelevant" instead of "I don't like it?"

    @steveat

    The updates over the air don't take so long. It's simply size divided by connection speed :-)

    Good apps don't crash. Stick with them. For instance the ebook reader, it's amazing, better than anything amazon/appl have. The OS will _never_ hang up on you. Can't say that about any OS out there outside QNX.

    @bunnyturd

    it was NOT quality, but the perception of dealing with a non-standard device (it connected to POP email through a BB, not directly).

    You don't seem to want to get it, though.

  • Report this Comment On February 22, 2012, at 10:27 AM, powerphrase wrote:

    Dear article writer have you ever used playbook? I doubt lt, best tablet in the market, do you really have to write this negative article? Paid article or personal agenda?

  • Report this Comment On February 22, 2012, at 11:26 AM, lucasmonger wrote:

    Where did all these Blackberry Playbook fans come from? The sheer numbers speak for themselves. iPad is #1, Kindle fire is #2, nobody seems to care about #3 thru 10. Despite the seemingly loyal fan base, it appears the RIM Playbook will go down in history along side the Microsoft Zune and Palm/HP Touchpad. Without a series Jeremy Lin-style miracles on the mobile and tablet fronts, Blackberry is doomed.

  • Report this Comment On February 22, 2012, at 3:35 PM, ampezzi wrote:

    The Worst Economics Article Ever?

    This one.

    Let's get serious c'mon or just shut up.

  • Report this Comment On February 23, 2012, at 7:50 AM, skywolf007 wrote:

    @lucasmonger

    Sorry but if you are categorizing a product quality by the sales numbers than you really really wrong.

    Its like saying Toyota sells the most cars, then GM than VW group. so the rest doesnt matter. If you follow this logic than what you are saying is that BMW is a piece of crap and nobody should buy it. Its stupid!!!

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