The BlackBerry PlayBook introduced in the early part of 2011 was BlackBerry’s (then RIM) first attempt at the tablet market. It was also the first time we were wowed by the QNX operating system embedded within a mainstream consumer device. Despite the PlayBooks rocky start the OS was actually a refreshing twist to the drudging Android OS tablet operating system. However, to many the device just seemed incomplete. Even though the device was quickly embraced by some BlackBerry loyalist, in time it became a thorn in the company’s side.
In time, BlackBerry announced its new BlackBerry 10 platform and decided that it would be the future of the company. The push for BlackBerry 10 would eventually produce two new flagship devices the BlackBerry Z10 and the Q10.
During that initial push for BlackBerry 10 the company didn't forget about their tablet and promised several times that after the initial launch of the first BlackBerry 10 devices that the PlayBook would also receive the BlackBerry 10 OS. That was months ago, the question now for many is, where is it?
The elusive BlackBerry 10 update to the BlackBerry PlayBook has been driving PlayBook owners nuts for the past year. When questioned about it, BlackBerry has been somewhat candid regarding the answer.
The latest answer to this question came during a world press Q&A during BlackBerry Live when BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins stated that "We’ve talked about PlayBook numerous times now, the pure hardware play is not really making a lot of sense, now I have to think of BlackBerry 10 as a platform not just as a product."
"So going forward we will focus on that future view of tablet I want to focus on the future, and that’s where I’m going to spend our R&D money on.” Heins further stated.
Heins, previously inquired about the future of tablets last month when he questioned their viability in the next five years.
So what does all this mean? Will the PlayBook really see a BlackBerry 10 update? Does BlackBerry even care about tablets? While there may not be an official answer to these questions, one thing remains clear, BlackBerry is dedicated to mobile computing.
The word tablet has become quite the buzzword in the tech world over the past couple years, and everyone wants a piece. Since mobile computing includes tablets or “tablet like” devices BlackBerry is still very much interested.
In a brief interview with CNET’s Roger Cheng, Heins further clarified his comments by saying that "The industry got stuck on the term tablets,". Cheng also mentioned that despite his previous comments, Heins does see a role with larger-screen devices. "We want to create something that's easier to use." Still BlackBerry is "interested in the future of tablets, whatever that is," said Heins.
As for the BlackBerry 10 update for the PlayBook, it will come in time. As mentioned before BlackBerry has already stated several times that it would come, but never gave any hard dates. The vibe from the company seems to be that it’s simply not a priority right now. Whether or not end users agree with that is another story.