updated 05:40 pm EDT, Thu September 15, 2011
RIM details PlayBook 2.0 and Video Store plans
RIM during the conference call for its bleak summer quarter confirmed major software efforts to reinvigorate the BlackBerry PlayBook. The company confirmed that the PlayBook 2.0 update was real and that it was planning one, major upgrade instead of trickling out features. The update would include the long-promised native e-mail, calendar, and contacts as well as the Android App Player and BlackBerry Balance, its platform for separating home and work content on the same device.
Other fixes were in store, such as "enhanced web browsing" and improvements to BlackBerry Bridge for tethering to a phone.
Along with the software, RIM was also launching its own movie service, the BlackBerry Video Store. The service will give users over 10,000 movies and TV shows, with movies arriving the same day as they do on DVD. Support for HDMI would let the tablet play videos on TV with little effort.
More details of both the PlayBook 2.0 update and the video store would come at BlackBerry DevCon in mid-October, the company said, with the 2.0 patch coming soon after. The platform for phones using the QNX-based OS from the PlayBook would also come at the same time, RIM said.
RIM also for the first time outlined its view of why PlayBook sales have been low since the start as well as its solution to the problem. It was aware that a lack of apps and content had affected "near-term uptake," according to co-CEO Mike Lazaridis. To fix this, RIM planned a wide discounting campaign that included enterprise bundles, loyalty rewards for existing BlackBerry users, and rebates.