RIM delays BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 to early 2012
Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) will delay the next version of its BlackBerry PlayBook tablet operating system until February 2012, further casting doubt on the manufacturer's ability to effectively compete with market leader Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) in the fast-moving tablet segment.
Just last month, RIM stated it would release version 2.0 of the PlayBook OS sometime in October. "As much as we'd love to have it in your hands today, we've made the difficult decision to wait to launch BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 until we are confident we have fully met the expectations of our developers, enterprise customers and end-users," writes RIM senior vice president David J. Smith on the Inside BlackBerry blog. Smith adds the manufacturer will defer including its signature BlackBerry Messenger solution to "a subsequent BlackBerry PlayBook OS release." For now, BlackBerry smartphone users may continue to access BBM on the PlayBook via the BlackBerry Bridge solution.
Smith goes on to state RIM will begin supplying developers with the gold release of the native SDK for the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, as well as a beta of BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0. Developers can begin porting their native apps to the PlayBook platform, and in the months ahead, RIM will update the SDK to include the full Cascades animation and UI engine demonstrated at the recent BlackBerry DevCon.
"Shortly we will also be starting a series of closed betas of BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 with select enterprise customers from our Early Adopter Program," Smith writes. "The betas will be conducted within global enterprise environments and will test the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet solution from end-to-end within corporate IT infrastructures. Feedback and improvements from these betas will benefit the overall BlackBerry PlayBook customer experience."
Apple's iPad dominates 68.3 percent of the worldwide tablet market according to IDC research issued last month. As of the second quarter, the BlackBerry PlayBook accounts for just 4.9 percent of the global tablet market. Apple's new iOS 5 operating system also touts iMessage, a BBM rival enabling consumers to send free text messages, photos and videos among all iOS devices.
- read this Inside BlackBerry blog entry
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