John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

BlackBerry PlayBook: Fail With Consumers, Fail With Enterprise

The challenges facing Research in Motion’s new PlayBook tablet in the enterprise market may not be as daunting as those facing it in the consumer market, but they’re troubling just the same.

With few quality core apps, a fragmented app platform (QNX, Adobe Air, HTML5 and Android) and important features that require pairing with a BlackBerry to access, the device would seem to be a non-starter in the consumer market. Which is bad news when consumer preferences are playing an increasingly larger role in enterprise purchasing decisions.

Sure, RIM has well-established relationships in the corporate market. And those certainly count for a lot. But as a massive new report from Goldman Sachs notes today, the “consumerization of IT” is eroding them–perhaps more quickly than you’d think.

“Despite RIM’s enterprise-friendly architecture, including running its own secure network and only allowing email access on the PlayBook by tethering it to a BlackBerry smartphone over Bluetooth, early indications are that CIOs significantly prefer the iPad and Android tablets over the PlayBook,” Goldman’s analysts explain. “We believe this is largely due to CIOs following the individual consumer preferences of their employees, similar to the dynamic that has unfolded in the smartphone market.”

In other words, the consumer market is beginning to determine IT purchasing decisions. Broad consumer interest in the iPad, for example, has accelerated corporate adoption of the device. Employees are buying iPads–and other mobile devices as well–and enterprise is increasingly supporting them on the back end or subsidizing them outright.

Which is great if you’re winning in the consumer market, as the iPad is. But lousy if you’re not.

And while it’s far too early to tell how the PlayBook will fare with consumers, early reviews suggest it may have a tough time winning them over.

And that’s unfortunate for RIM, particularly if a loss in the consumer market translates into a loss in enterprise as well.

[Image credit: Illustration by Joy of Tech, tables by Goldman Sachs]

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus