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New Like Newt said in Aliens...
...it won't make any difference.

The PlayBook isn't real competition for Apple.

Hell, it isn't real competition for Android, which itself isn't real competition for Apple.

Does it have native BES email yet, or do you still have to do that ridiculous dance with your existing BB and the bridge thing?

New Well, I guess that depends
on what you're after. Me, I want it to work, I want it to run the current web well, and I really like paying a third of the price of the apple stuff to get that.

It's more stable than my iPhone is. It's faster than the iPads in the office. It's not a mobile device (as in, no GSM/3G/whatev), so the bb bridge makes sense in that context. I understand that future playbooks will be mobile enabled, at which point there won't be any need for the bridge... but this is not that device. After all, the blackberry stuff is the only stuff that gets banned by absolutist states because they can't break it. I can understand why RIM is loath to give that up for their email system.

Hardware wise, it's easily competitive (and often exceeds) the Apple stuff we have here. Despite the fact that the software we're working on here is mostly targetted at iOS for the mobile web, it all runs better on playbook because the hardware is beefier.

Now, it might not suit your needs very well, but afaic it's the only tablet I've seen that comes close (and now with the new system, often exceeds) the apple capabilities. The one that I'm very very happy about is the new text input system. To be blunt, it crushes the equivalent apple software; faster, easier... It's Just Better. A lot better. You'd need to try it to see how much better, but I have both classes of device, and we are doing dev work at my firm for all of the above, so we're all getting heavy use of all the available iOS stuff as well as playbook (and eventually all the new RIM stuff as they complete their transition to QNX as the base system for all their devices) and I'm going to tell you that I can almost easily beat you in both time and keystrokes just as soon as there are real sentences and paragraphs involved in composing text. Easily. I want to use this as more than just a toy... the text input system makes that possible.

It's also helped by its stability. AFAICT, playbooks don't crash. Ever. I've seen apps on the playbook crash, yes, but the playbook itself? Not once.

Finally, I'd think you should be encouraging viable competitors to iOS like the playbook (because I happen to agree with you about Android... a lot of my friends here are on android and I'll take qnx's stability over that, Thank You Very Much) because hardware and software monocultures in a market are bad for consumers.
New I do welcome viable competitors to iPad...
..but the PlayBook isn't it.

It's dead. RIM are selling them below cost.

Barring something remarkable, there are two things that are going to challenge Apple in the tablet space: Kindle Fire, and (if MS don't completely fuck it up, which is far from a given) Windows 8.

PB's software may well be fab (even though iPad 3 will absolutely dominate it hardware-wise), but the harsh reality is that outside of Canada, no-one cares. Technical chops alone have never been enough to be competitive; hell, Apple's absolute ownership of the tablet market is evidence of that. Lots of tablets are faster and cheaper than the iPad, but not a single one is remotely effective at competing with it, with the possible exception of the Kindle Fire (which, interestingly, I read has already caught up with all the other Android tablets combined. Content sells hardware, I guess)

To most people, the word "tablet" means "iPad", with a tiny (but growing) number of people saying "actually, Kindle Fire".

On RIM products in general: no-one actually wants a BES. They want effective access to their Exchange server. The very second BES stops being the most cost-effective way of doing that, and that moment may well be here for a lot of organisations who simply don't need all that security, RIM are in even more trouble than they are now, because their handsets are awful* and their phone OS is grim.

* People want big screens and Angry Birds a fuck of a lot more than they want a hardware keyboard.

This is all just my UK-centric opinion, of course.
New Some are carving interesting niches.
Asus are working hard at making an Android tablet a truly viable alternative to a netbook. The integration they did for the keyboard dock on the first EeePad Transformer is extremely well done. Yes I have one: and the detachable keyboard is what people get interested about it.

I doubt that Asus could ever make a huge dent in Apple's sales; I think they'll take netbook sales instead. But I think there is enough dissatisfaction with the existing iPad keyboard solutions for some people that Asus will succeed well enough.

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New Of course not
the tech press has just as much of a village as any other press, and it doesn't fit the meme that they want to promote. I think they like monocultures (after all, we're talking about the same professional community that relentlessly promote the Wintel monoculture for fifteen years) because it means they don't have to learn as much. Personally, it's not something that matters that much to me. I like the fact that it works and I don't have to pay the Apple premium.
     New Tablet OS for BlackBerry today - (jake123) - (5)
         Like Newt said in Aliens... - (pwhysall) - (4)
             Well, I guess that depends - (jake123) - (3)
                 I do welcome viable competitors to iPad... - (pwhysall) - (2)
                     Some are carving interesting niches. - (static)
                     Of course not - (jake123)

Let's face it: you can't Torquemada anything!
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