Research In Motion (RIM) is going to release its first tablet PC, PlayBook, very soon and there are lots of expectations around it. There are many who are waiting for a viable competitor for Apple iPad which is continuously getting stronger. Last year, Samsung tried to cut iPad’s popularity, then this year Motorola Xoom pursued the same; but neither of them became successful.
RIM is well-known for its BlackBerry phones, specialized on unique security over data transfer. It is very popular among the corporate or enterprise users who require additional security. However, RIM saw a slump in its share in the smartphone market since the launch of iPhone from Apple in 2007.
Now, RIM has to compete with Apple in the tablet PC market where Steve Jobs has already made a strong platform for Apple products. Here are few questions RIM has to answer with its PlayBook:
First of all, as RIM is coming up with a tablet PC, many believe the Canada-based company would still keep its focus on security aiming at the corporate users. Well, there are some risks associated with it.
The existing big players of tablet PC market such as iPad 2, Xoom are providing the corporate users with satisfactory level of security and it seems RIM’s expertise on date security may not help in the tablet market. For example, SAP, a business software company, has bought 3,500 units of iPads.
Well, you may argue that RIM’s internal security based on code encryption could ensure better security for the enterprise users compared to others like Apple or Motorola. Point taken, but then how much security an enterprise user requires and to what extent RIM’s security is necessary.
There are rumors that users may discard RIM’s extensive security because most of the users do not need that much of security. In fact, competing companies are now also working on encryption to reduce RIM’s advantage in the market.
Moreover, RIM has to catch up on the hardware features of tablet PC giant iPad or iPad 2, if they are to sustain in the tablet PC market successfully. Screen, graphics, camera, RAM, processor, storage, Wi-Fi and 3G support, and some others are the features people do not generally want to compromise with. In fact, Apple and Motorola have already set the standard very high which RIM PlayBook must meet to stand a change initially.
Next comes application or software. No doubt, this is perhaps the strongest side of Apple iPad thanks to its very rich app store. Here, Android even could not come close to Apple. The good thing is that RIM has finally understood the necessity of delivering quality apps to create better user experience and recently taken some initiative to attract the app developers to join RIM and start developing apps. For example, RIM has dropped the entrance fee for the application developers.
The problem, however, is that for creating more quality apps, RIM coders must not write complex codes, and if needed they have to compromise with security, at least to some extent. Otherwise, developers would find it difficult to rewrite the codes to make attractive applications, and thus, failing to add value to customers.
Overall, RIM PlayBook has to offer something which its competitors like iPad 2 and Xoom are missing to ensure a sustainable business in the tablet PC market.