The BlackBerry PlayBook is no slouch when it comes to hardware, with a 1Ghz ARM Cortex A9 processor and 1GB of RAM. It even outperformed the iPad at one time, but as we’ve all learned from Apple, software and user interface are equally important in a tablet ecosystem.
Research In Motion has always been behind in that arena, lacking key features such as native email and calendar until recently, and having few available apps in comparison to competitors like Apple.
The company’s 2.0 update helped alleviate some concern over its missing functionality, adding Android Market support so its users could download Android apps. Unfortunately, that update didn’t come until February of 2012, almost a full year after the tablet was released.
Even with the update, RIM’s sales have been poor, but the company is hanging on tight to its PlayBook. According to TechRadar, the next updated planned for the tablet will include BB10 OS, when it’s available.
By all accounts, RIM’s BlackBerry 10 OS, which is built on the same QNX platform as the current PlayBook OS, will be a marked improvement. The problem, once again? BB10 OS isn’t coming for several months.
“We’ve said publicly a number of times that our first BB10 handset will be available towards the end of 2012, and that’s still firmly the case,” said Rob Orr, RIM’s Vice President of Product Management. “At some point after the launch, we’ll bring BB10 to our PlayBooks.”
Good news for current owners, perhaps, but the late 2012 release of an operating system on a tablet that’s already facing lackluster sales isn’t going to encourage new purchases. You can slap a new OS on an old tablet, but in the end, it’s still a two-year-old tablet in an arena with much fresher releases.