Mobile

So Much for BlackBerry 10 for PlayBook

Published on June 28, 2013
by John Paczkowski

playbook_python_footLooks like BlackBerry’s PlayBook tablet will not be upgraded to BlackBerry 10, after all.

Discussing the company’s lousy first-quarter earnings on a conference call with investors Friday, BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins said he had decided against bringing the company’s next-generation operating system to the PlayBook, despite his earlier pledge to do so.

“We spent a great deal of time and energy looking at solutions that could move the BlackBerry 10 experience to PlayBook,” Heins said. “Unfortunately, I wasn’t satisfied with the level of performance and user experience. So I made the difficult decision to stop these efforts and focus on our core hardware portfolio. We will, however, support PlayBook on the existing software platforms and configurations.”

Hardly a surprising move. BlackBerry shipped a piddling 100,000 PlayBooks in its most recent quarter. And the device’s abysmal performance at market has clearly given the company grave second thoughts about its tablet strategy. Indeed, back in April, Heins went on record with some bearish comments about the tablet space in general.

“In five years, I don’t think there’ll be a reason to have a tablet anymore,” Heins said. “Maybe a big screen in your workspace, but not a tablet as such. Tablets themselves are not a good business model.”

Not for BlackBerry, anyway. Apple and Samsung seem to be enjoying a modicum of success with them, though.

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