BlackBerry tablet will be a winner: Market analysts

By Gurmukh Singh, IANS,

Toronto : With its monopoly in the business handset market under onslaught from Google’s Android devices and Apple’s iPhone, BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM) is now shifted its focus entirely to its tablet Playbook.

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In the projected 55-million tablet market this year with iPad in the clear lead, RIM is trying “everything right first time” before it launches the tablet in March, according to market analysts.

Accordingly, at the just concluded Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, the top Canadian technology company went out its way to show how PlayBook stacks against the pack of tablets – many yet to be unveiled.

Through hands-on demonstrations, RIM took pot shots at rivals by showing how PlayBook will be unbeatable in terms of the multitasking capabilities and versatility of its Web browser vis-a-vis Apple and Android tablets.

The demonstrations tried to highlight how PlayBook browser is built on open Web standards and thus supports Flash which Apple’s iPad does not, and how PlayBook is capable of simultaneously running Flash browsing, desktop applications, 1080p video games, mobile desktop, 3D games and apps.

While almost all tablets from major players run Android operating system – barring Apple’s iPad which runs on Apple’s own operating system, BlackBerry maker’s PlayBook uses a new powerful QNX operating system which RIM specifically bought only for its tablet.

Technology analysts say these features give unique advantages to PlayBook against the rival tablets.

To target its BlackBerry-totting business and corporate subscribers, RIM has also integrated PlayBook with its smart phone through BlackBerry Bridge.

At 7-inch compared to the iPad which measures 11 inches, PlayBook will a lot more easy carry around on business trips. RIM has also not ruled out with bigger versions later on.

While the PlayBook Wi-Fi version hits the market in March, the 3G/4G wireless version will come in the summer.

With RIM’s future so much hinging on its tablet, Mike Abramsky of Royal Bank of Canada Capital Markets in Toronto says multi-tasking, power and apps will definitely make PlayBook a winner in the fast crowding tablet market.

“Some aspects of PlayBook ( such as apps) are being polished; however, RIM appears determined to get PlayBook right out of the gate, including competitive battery life (via power management from its QNX-based OS,” he was quoted as saying in the local media.

With iPad selling more than seven million units since April, RIM has priced Playbook at $500 to cut into Apple sales.

(Gurmukh Singh can be contacted at [email protected])