updated 08:20 am EDT, Thu June 16, 2011
O2 UK passes on BlackBerry PlayBook
O2 UK dealt a symbolic hit to RIM on Thursday after it shot down any plans to carry the current BlackBerry PlayBook. Customers who had shown interest in the tablet have been told that the British carrier "will not be selling the device" for what it implied was the rushed state of the software. There were "some issues with the end to end customer experience," it said.
The carrier was supposedly not against the PlayBook in itself and was still collaborating on future models.
Although not explicitly stated, it's likely that O2 objected to features consciously left out in the haste to have a competitor to the iPad on shelves. RIM shipped the PlayBook without native BBM, calendars, contacts, and e-mail, limiting the Wi-Fi version of the tablet to pair up with a BlackBerry to equal features that other tablets could manage by themselves. The company promised an update to bring these in within 60 days of the mid-April release but promptly delayed it to late summer.
Other carriers, such as Sprint and major Canadian carriers, have been selling the PlayBook and pitching it as a companion to a BlackBerry phone, though they haven't said how successful this was. RIM has been shy on PlayBook sales but is expected to come forward with its first official figures with its quarterly results for the spring, which are due this afternoon. [via Engadget]