PlayBook pre-launch

The release date is later than expected, the name is different, the location was a surprise … but no one admits to being caught off guard by the announcement yesterday about the new BlackBerry PlayBook. That’s what passes for reportage these days, I guess.

To me, it’s interesting that Research In Motion is going after the Apple iPad from its core strength, the enterprise customer. Consumers will buy it, too, but I can see CIOs approving this device for corporate use because the back end administration will be secure, just like the BlackBerry.

For office use, the two cameras will be good for video conferencing and the Flash support is a promising difference from iPad. More apps will be possible, a key message to attendees at the BlackBerry Developers Conference in San Francisco where the first demonstrations of PlayBook occurred.

I like the name, and I like the fact that a 10″ model will be available sometime next year after the launch of the 7″ version. From a strategic point of view, this pre-announcement makes sense. RIM’s hope is that potential iPad purchasers will wait to see PlayBook before committing. Like the coach always said, sometimes the best defence is a good offence.

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