I may remain perpetually baffled with the technological outfit, Research In Motion (RIM). As you may recall, several weeks ago, I gave RIM a wagging finger of disapproval for its maligned understanding of cell phone prerequisites. This is now a moot point, as unbelievably, RIM is now displaying that it understands the tablet world even less than it does cell phones.
My sensors went into overdrive as I read Ian Austin and Brian Chen’s New York Times article, “Analysts Fault Additions to RIM Playbook Tablet.” After the first paragraph, the necessity of tablet “table stakes” came into full fruition in my mind. Moreover, the article served as a testament that the Playbook Tablet is a symbol for a company (RIM) that lacks all understanding of branding table stakes.
As you may not know, 10 months ago, RIM released the Playbook Tablet. Upon its release, the Playbook was missing e-mail capabilities, calendar syncing, and access to the Blackberry Messenger services and other vital intangibles.
How can RIM release a business-oriented tablet – I am giving them a shred of branding respect by calling this a “business” tablet – without e-mail or a calendar sync? Simply said, you cannot and should not. These are the most basic of all needs for any business user.
Said in the Times: “RIM has never publicly explained the reason for that omission. But many industry and financial analysts have said the features were absent because the company could not make the device work with its unique global data network.”
Truly, the best option for RIM would have been to wait to release the Playbook until it was perfected. Why go to the races with an already inferior product, especially when you are selling it against the perfected iPad? First impressions are hard to change, especially when releasing a new product. This move was errant and fundamentally foolish.
Worse yet, it will take RIM until February (eleven months since its initial release) to provide Playbook owners with an update where the table stakes of tablets are even offered to the owners.
Until RIM does, may I suggest we start calling the Playbook the Pretendbook?