Editorial: Why The PlayBook Was Released Right On Time
The masses are extremely excited about OS 2.0 for the PlayBook being released this month. Many feel it completes a solid product that was originally launched half-baked and incomplete. For this reason, the PlayBook and RIM have taken some major hits across tech blogs worldwide. It simply feels like this approach was not thought out and that Research In Motion should've waited to get all native PIM functions (calendar, email; etc) working on the PlayBook before releasing it to the public. Not doing so was a mistake that hurt how the PlayBook has been perceived... Or was it?
In the short term the answer is obvious, yes it hurt. In the long term though I'm thinking the fact that they got the PlayBook out, incomplete or whatnot, to the public will actually benefit us as end users. Why?
Well let's think, if they would've decided to hold off on releasing the PlayBook incomplete and decided to get all these wonderful things we're expecting OS 2.0 to have on there, how long would it have taken them to release the PlayBook and what would it be like?
Released earlier but still incomplete.
Research In Motion decides to take an extra 4-5 months to add to some form of native email, calendar, and other stuff that didn't make the original OS and releases the PlayBook in August/September of 2011 ahead of the BlackBerry 7 line up.
The reviews aren't as bad because it does have all the basic functions of an expected BlackBerry tablet, minus BBM. It does feel rushed, like they didn't really have another choice but to release it like this. The pressure of the Apple having two iPads out by then would've forced their hand to release it still somewhat incomplete. Features like Open On, BlackBerry Remote; etc don't make the OS as developers efforts are concentrated on PIM functions.
BlackBerry users, of course, love it though - it is the first BlackBerry tablet after all. In the end, it just doesn't compare to what OS 2.0 will give us this month in terms of a full user experience and most of us are waiting for the next PlayBook tablet and not OS upgrade.
RIM waits and takes their time.
Research In Motion decides to go with a very unpopular choice of making sure all these features are not only workable but are great as well from the get go. The release date of the PlayBook is pushed back to January or even February of 2012. BlackBerry 7 isn't as successful as they anticipated in late 2011 and many, even hardcore BlackBerry fans don't know what to expect out of the PlayBook or the future of BlackBerry 10.
If you think about it, one of the reasons many of us are confident about BlackBerry 10 having some success is the fact that we've seen what RIM is capable of making with the PlayBook and its Tablet OS. Put that into a BlackBerry smartphone and you get yourself a pretty great device - that's the idea.
If we wouldn't have a PlayBook in our hands right now, many of us wouldn't know what to expect or even if we should be putting any faith onto BlackBerry 10. The argument that it could potentially be another BlackBerry 7 failed experience would be as relevant as ever.
Not the best decision, but not the worst.
In the end, maybe it wasn't the smartest move to have the PlayBook launch when it did. They took some major hits in the public's eye and in the stock market as well. Promises of native goods coming within "60 days" of launch fell through. It ended up plain and simply ugly.
On the other hand, a part of me can't exactly wish they would've taken their time with it either though. The competitive market would've forced their hand to release a "complete" product that I feel wouldn't have been as good as what we will be getting in under two weeks. OS 2.0 seems like it will be bringing the goods and more at last. February 21st, yes I'm still hoping it's on that date, cannot get here quick enough.