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RIM insists PlayBook works 'standalone' despite mail absence

updated 02:05 pm EST, Mon January 17, 2011

RIM defends PlayBook need for mail tethering

RIM in an interview Monday defended its decision to let the BlackBerry PlayBook ship without independent calendar and e-mail features. Senior product manager Ryan Bidan claimed that it was a "great standalone tablet" and could work well even on Wi-Fi. The BlackBerry bridging simply made it better, Forbes was told.

"This is not a device that is reliant on a BlackBerry," Bidan said.

The claims nonetheless didn't address criticism that the PlayBook would lose core BlackBerry features without being tethered to a smartphone. In part to make the March shipping target while preserving BlackBerry-level security, PlayBook owners will have to also own one of RIM's phones to use most of what goes through its usual BlackBerry Internet Service, including BlackBerry Messenger. The web and third-party apps should provide substitutes in the interim, but the device could be set behind the iPad and a wave of Android tablets among home users that often won't have a BlackBerry.

Bidan did acknowledge earlier talk of a firmware update to add truly independent contacts, e-mail and messaging. He didn't confirm rumors of a 3G version in spring that could add the missing mail support. The new firmware would "come as the platform evolves," he said.

In the interim, the bridging requirement has been cited as a possible advantage, since it could keep the most sensitive information on a phone where the more publicly accessible tablet wouldn't have sensitive information.

By Electronista Staff


  1. MyRightEye

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2008



  1. droz

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2009




  1. facebook_Ben

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Jan 2011


    Features coming later...

    A tablet that can't email and has no calendar. These features will never come because stupid RIM is setting this up to be a massive flop. Sad.

  1. dmsimmer

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2005


    A great lone tablet stand

    I hope it has the Storm's click-screen feature. That would make it complete.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. Gazoobee

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Feb 2009


    makes sense actually

    I hate the email app on the iPad and don't use it at all. Also, I have my iPhone in my pocket the whole time anyway, so why do I want sub-par email on the iPad?

    Given all that, what he is saying makes sense to me. Users can use the Rim Playbook for all kinds of things, the fact that it doesn't have email shouldn't be a problem for most users.

  1. slapppy

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2008


    Let's hear it

    Gazoobee is right. It's perfect, build a many as you can and ship the thing. Don't worry about cost, everyone knows this is the killer feature missing that will take down the iPad.

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