Tablets are definately the buzz word this February 2011, with a slew of new releases occurring so frequently, that Silicon Valley might have to start setting up a Box Office to sell movie tickets to attend these Developer conferences and Launch Presentations. For the record, that is an idea for some in Silicon Valley or even Jamaica to look into with regards to Corporate functions.
So I guess the prognostications of John Morris, a reporter for ZDNet, sister website of CNET, were spot on: CES (Consumer Electronics Show) was all about Tablets. The Motorola Xoom being the talk of CES Techneratti, an event foreshadowed by its debut at the Tuesday December 7th Google Event at which Google Android 3.0 aka Honeycomb was peppered by flashing light bulbs and Developer’s cheers of delight.
But back to CES, folks! Those who were a no-show at the CES lollapalooza with Tablets (note: not a Netbook-Tablet Hybrid with a slide out keyboard, Dell!) of significant note, were Hewlett Packard (HP) and Research in Motion (RIM), more affectionately rolled off ones tongue as HP and RIM respectively.
HP already did their WebOS Event thing on Wednesday February 9th 2011 away from the noise, and din of CES, wowing the audience with their WebOS ecosystem. This WebOS is inclusive of the business centric, printer ready HP TouchPad, HP Pre3, the anointed successor to the Palm Pre and cutie-with-a-bootie HP Veer (that’s “Deer” with a “V”, folks!).
RIM already had their Big Press Event last year in September and albeit it revealed specs, akin to most of the Tablet declarations, the Boffins working on these devices still have not divulged pricing, battery life and availability. If I wasn’t thinking right, I would say Silicon Valley is following a common script. Hmm, thought to ponder.
RIM Playbook Bluetooth Tethering concept now out in the open and purportedly slated for a February 2011 launch, riding upon the positive news of a better than expected fourth Quarter in 2010. Until this launch occurs later in February 2011 (?), they still have to deal with persistent rumours of poor battery life, a claim RIM has rejected while riding the media attention for all it is worth.
Rumours of a Google Android cross-platform app integration to quickly fill out the threadbare cupboards of their Blackberry app Store and one slowly begins to warm up to the Playbook, despite is diminutive 7” size.
RIM still has to deal with a revamp of the Blackberry Torch 9800, which albeit a “success” based on anecdotal sources in Jamaica among the professional working class profilers, Young and the Restless style, nonetheless did not make the cut in the tough and unforgiving cut-throat US Market, where products are popular one day and bomb the next, Hollywood Style.
RIM had to admit defeat of Blackberry 6.0, with the telling signs of a US$99 two (2) year contract a battle burn RIM will seek to receive twice in the same area. Especially with competition from Motorola and it Droids and Samsung and their infinite Galaxy of 4G capable smartphones.
Still, RIM is making strides. They have made their Enterprise Server software free in a bid to stave off the onslaught of Apple and Google Android OS Platforms, a critical step towards developing an ecosystem akin to more popular playboy, the Apple iPhone 4.
With people continuing to ditch Blackberry’s in the Developed World for Apple iPhones and Apple iPhone-esque smartphone look-alikes which the Developing World is catching on to with much aplomb. Thus Blackberry’s only way to beat the Apple iPad is to launch simultaneously in ALL International Market at the same time on all of its Telecom Networks partners.
This looks very possible, as Delivery Manager Stephen Priestley of Digicel Jamaica, currently the only Telecom Provider that supports a Tablet, namely the Samsung Galaxy P1000 slyly hinted at the coming launch of the RIM Playbook on Digicel’s Network in an interview with the Jamaica Observer Sunday Finance Reporter, Julian Richardson, published Sunday, January 23, 201.
Most likely, LIME and CLARO, who also use RIM Enterprise Server to deliver secure email and BB Messenger, may also be a part of RIM attack strategy, but I am unable to confirm this possibility up to the time of writing this article. So speculation abounds until another of the Telecom Provider’s squeals loudly enough to put clothes on my Global Launch prediction.
One thing is for certain though. iSuppli, the Supply Component analyst who in 2010 predicted that there will be no Tablet competition until 2012, may have to rethink that statement.
If RIM launches as possibly hinted above, it can help to build out their ecosystem and give the Apple iPad serious competition by virtue of sheer numbers alone, as they are STILL the Global leaders in the smartphone category, both in the US of A and the International sphere.
Until word comes of a confirmed launch date for the RIM Playbook, pricing and battery life, all cards are on the table as to their long term strategy, The French Connection (1971) style.
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