Can BlackBerry's Tablet Top Apple's iPad?
June 7, 2011 • 1 views
Filed under A&E
The Apple iPad currently holds an 82 percent share of the tablet market in the United States, according to an April survey by the Nielsen company.
There have been numerous attempts to take that crown off the iPad; Google’s open source Android operating system was optimized in late 2010 for tablets, and devices such as the Motorola Xoom were introduced. HP has been hyping its new TouchPad, which it claims will not be released until it is “perfect.”
However, the iPad has continued to sit by itself at that topmost position without any true competition from other tablets on the market. Could the BlackBerry PlayBook be the revolutionary product to revise the leadership structure of the tablet market?
Now, it’s a firm and definite no. For disclosure purposes, Research in Motion (RIM, the owner of the BlackBerry brand) allowed app developers to create tablet apps and sent free PlayBooks to those developers whose apps were accepted into their app store – I was part of this group.
The PlayBook looks almost nothing like the iPad. At seven inches diagonally, it certainly more portable than Apple’s tablet, but screen size is compromised compared to the ten-inch market leader.
At first glance, the PlayBook has many ports; these include a standard headphone jack, a micro-USB port for charging and syncing, and a micro-HDMI port for connecting to a television. Already, the PlayBook has an advantage over the iPad in the built-in port for displaying video on other devices.
The operating system is smooth, providing seamless transitions between apps through gestures on the touch-sensitive bezel. It is generally stable, with the browser crashing very infrequently – it is interesting to note that the browser has Flash support, as well.
So where does the PlayBook fall short? It is mainly in the sheer lack of apps in App World, the BlackBerry equivalent to Apple’s App Store. The PlayBook app store, at launch, contained 3,000 apps, with the number steadily growing. Comparatively, the iPad App Store has about 65,000 iPad-specific apps, proving a very strong advantage.
Since tablets are almost all about the apps that they have, the PlayBook has a sharp decrease in value considering the sheer lack of decent apps in App World. RIM claims that more apps are coming this summer, when it releases a new software development kit for app developers; one can only wait and see.
Is the PlayBook itself a great tablet? Yes, definitely. Is the Playbook’s operating system ideal? At this point, no. However, with the proper software updates and pushes to get more apps in App World, RIM can make that competitive tablet that they originally desired.