Thursday, April 7, 2011

BlackBerry PlayBook Release Date Delayed Because of Apple?

If you haven't heard already, the middle to ladder part of April is when we can finally expect to see the BlackBerry PlayBook release date. However, DigiTimes is reporting that, in addition to the known software testing delays, the BlackBerry Playbook release date has also been delayed (potentially could have shipped in March - nearly a month earlier) because Apple gobbled up much of the market's touch screen tablet supply:

Sources from touch screen panel makers also pointed out that PlayBook shipments were postponed for about a month from the original schedule due to a delay in software testing as well as shortage of touch panels because Apple already booked up most of the available capacity. -- DigiTimes

At a certain point, you have to begin to wonder how far behind the curve some of these tech companies feel when it comes to competing with Apple.  Obviously, it's tough to compete with Apple due to Apple's size, current financial cash position, and ability to attract some of the smartest and most innovative tech minds in the world.

RIM Tablet Delayed Because of Touch Screen SupplyHowever, many of these tech companies are failing to beat Apple because they are failing to bring innovative products to the market quickly and in a form factor that's easy for the less than tech savvy consumer to immediately pick up and start using.  Even when these tech companies do have "that" product, their marketing is often lacking.

If DigiTimes has it right, even if RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook was delayed due to Apple's pre-order of touch screens for the iPad, let's keep in mind that Apple secured this round of touch screen supply for their second generation iPad (not the original iPad that was released well over a year ago)!

And, cleary, RIM's co-CEO, Mike Lazaridi, still didn't see the market for touch screen tablets based on some comments he made at the TD Newcrest Technology Conference a year ago (April 2010).  Also keep in mind that Lazaridi's comments were made more than a month after the original iPad tablet had been released and was already a clear market success:

So, I think at this point if you have to take the whole thing into consideration, you can’t say what’s the market for tablets in exclusion of the other devices, you have to put the whole thing together and I don’t think it’s that clear yet.  -- Courtesy of TiPb

So, yes, in the months leading up to the BlackBerry Playbook release date, it looks like RIM has been trumped by Apple, but let's face it, the new BlackBerry Tablet has been behind the eight ball and has been seriously delayed (or shall I say, trumped) for not seeing a touch screen tablet market that clearly exists!

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