iPad users not quaking at prospect of competing RIM tablet

Can Blackberry maker win mindshare from iPhone, iPad? iDoubt it.

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RIM is trying to fight back against the wave of gadgets that is supplanting it as the go-to handheld messaging device of corporate raiders and early-00-era toxic asset raiders.

RIM is hoping its seven-inch tablet Playbook -- a name that is easy to remember, but has the catchy allure of wet cement -- will be serious competition for Apple's iPad.

It has the advantage of running both Flash and Java, and a list price of less than $500 (theoretically, it hasn't appeared yet). Tablet sales rose 26 percent during 2010 according to Strategy Analytics, and were dominated by sales of 4.19 million iPads.

Samsung has also launched a tablet and a number of Windows 7-based pads have been touted but not arrived yet on the market.

RIM's will be very reliable, way too thick to be carried comfortably, and require users to pay attention to it even when they'd rather be looking directly at their lunch companions.

It will vibrate a lot.

Other people will hate you for using it, but not as much as if you were using an iPad. You will resent that they hate you insufficiently, and use the RIM tablet more loudly to compensate.

Kevin Fogarty writes about enterprise IT for ITworld. Follow him on Twitter @KevinFogarty.

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