The reviews for the BlackBerry PlayBook are coming out and the critics, although generally in favor of Reasearch In Motions’s (RIM) approach, don’t feel as though the PlayBook can save RIM in it’s current state. Now I’m not going to get into that topic in this post, but I do want to discuss the lack of certain “core” applications missing at launch from the BlackBerry PlayBook.
At launch, the BlackBerry PlayBook will ship without native e-mail, contacts, or calendar apps. It will also be without BlackBerry Messenger, a key feature to BlackBerry devices. RIM wanted to make BlackBerry a secure device out the box and therefore to have access to those features you must connect your BlackBerry device to the PlayBook. Given the fact that the first PlayBooks will be wi-fi only, this makes sense. It doesn’t make sense to have e-mail trying to be pushed to a device when there is no wi-fi connectivity. Why would I need to look up contacts when I can’t necessarily do anything with them when not in a wi-fi area (no call, text, e-mail. or bbm)? The only sore point to the missing core apps would be the lack of a calendar app, that does seem important. But lets take a closer look at the BlackBerry Bridge, the app that connects a BlackBerry to a PlayBook and why RIM went that route.
Reviewers are not keen to the idea that a PlayBook needs to have a BlackBerry to do key features. But this is nothing new to the technology world. RIM wants people in their ecosystem. This is no different than an Apple product (iPad, iPod, iPhone) needing to connect to iTunes, or an Android device needing a GMail address, or a Windows product needing a Hotmail/Live address. The makers of these products want you within their ecosystem. Why should RIM be any different?
People can argue that needing a particular type of e-mail address is completely different than needing a particular type of device, but one can lead to the other. Once you’re within an ecosystem, you want to have the devices that go along with that ecosystem so you can the best service out of your connected devices. When Android first arrived on the scene with the G1, I was very excited to get one becasue I was a heavy user of Google products (Google Maps, Gmail, Google Search, Google Reader, Chrome). I was within the Google ecosystem and wanted to get the most out of these products therefore I thought Android was the perfect solution at that time. I know of people who want Windows Phone 7 devices becasue they loved their Zunes and have an Xbox; they are within the Mircosoft ecosystem. My sister-in-law was a blackberry addict (much like my wife), but she really wanted an iPad. She waited and got the iPad 2 on the first day it came out. She is in love with her iPad, she loved the apps, the browser, the way it looked. Everything. I talked to her last week, she had gotten rid of her BlackBerry and is now an iPhone user. Apple lured her into their ecosystem, just as the Big Bad Wolf did with Little Red Riding Hood. RIM is not in the wrong for offering users of their products the best expirence, and if you want the best expirence then you will use their products. In the buisness world, it is far less expensive to keep a customer than to get new ones. Also once a consumer has purchased multiple products within one ecosystem then they are less likley to leave it. RIM knows this and is leveraging their current customer base to stay in the BlackBerry army and not defect to battlefields of Android or iOS.
In my expirence, people are purchasing tablets to browse the web, play games, maybe watch some movies on a larger screen. Tablets are eating away at the sales of netbooks, becasue they were serving very similar purposes. If people are looking at those features (web browsing, playing games, media, etc) and even some document creation and editing then the PlayBook is going to be great device right out of the box. The PlayBook is a solid device and RIM is headed in the right direction with their new OS and ecosystem strategy.
Word on the web is that Netflix, Amazon, iTunes, Blockbuster, and Hulu are all nervous about a new deal that Facebook struck with Warner Bros about renting movies. I’ve become very accustomed to the Netflix model and I very much enjoy being able to stream movies to my tv (through my Xbox) to my tv. I do not want to sit on the computer on Facebook and attempt to watch a movie.
¿Will Facebook pause chats while I’m watching my movie?
¿Will Facebook maximize the viewing window for the movie? Or will it be a hover over like Facebook has started doing with its pictures?
Now the deal states that if you rent a movie you can watch the movie on that movie’s Facebook fan page. Almost all of my social interacts have already been taken over by Facebook, I don’t want my media interactions to be the same way. It will be sad day when I have to have various subscription services to enjoy movies, and I can see the .market headed in that direction. Hopefully this idea will be a flop and studios will allow their movies to be in various arenas at the sametime. Much like the way they deliver their movies to various movie theatres and I don’t have to only see Warner Bros movies in Muvico theaters and Pixar movies at Sony theatres. Consumers want simplicity. I understand that products need to differentiate, but that shouldn’t come at the cost of the consumer’s ease of use for your product.
Well TGIF…am I right? Not for me. You see I am having a little procedure done today that, while beneficial to my family’s long term plan, is going to such in the short term. That said, if you don’t see me as much…now you know.
Last week Apple CEO came off his medical leave to make a special appearance and announce the iPad 2…
Actually I was going to go into a long detailed recap of the event and tell of all the features of the iPad 2. But in my opinion there’s nothing ground breaking. Apple released this product to stay competitive. Yes it has dual-cameras (a front facing and a rear facing camera). It has a dual core A5 processor. It is thinner than the iPhone 4. All of these were necessary for a next iterative product, but all of these were also what was expected of Apple. Apple added things, especially the cameras, that were hoped and expected to have been included in the first iPad. Apple is very smart in its consumer purchase strategy. These types of iterative upgrades and additions worked on its iPod line and somewhat in the iPhone devices, why wouldn’t the same strategy work in the tablet market?
Here’s why: the price. iPods may be expensive, but no where near as expensive as the price of a tablet. Sure no one wants to spend another $150 - $200 on a newer model iPod. But if I purchased an iPad for $500, I’m definitely not going to get a new one just because they added some cameras. People are hurting in this current economic landscape and the tablet market is a new field that people are still trying to not only understand but to also fit this device into their lives. If the manufacturers like Apple or Motorola or Research In Motion (RIM) or Samsung or any of the other tablet makers want to market tablets as laptop/netbook replacements that’s all well and good, but they need to have the product cycle stand as if consumers are going to hold on to these devices for more than 9 months.
What are my thoughts on the new iPad? It’s going to sell well, as Apple products generally do, but I don’t think this product is worth the hype. If you already have an iPad I wouldn’t upgrade to this 2nd generation tablet from Apple. If you don’t own a tablet already, then I would wait before purchasing this device. Sure it has all the hype surrounding it, it has tons of apps. However I see the forecast for tablets and it’s about to be a downpour of devices from HP, RIM, Samsung, Motorola, HTC, Dell all of which could possibly fit into your life better than an iPad. They may not have all of the apps, but in this new market place having apps isn’t going to be the prime selling tool. I believe if you can find a tablet that will fit seamlessly into your life and complete the tasks that you need it for than it will be the correct tablet, the correct extension of your computing life for you.
New products are always coming out, this is true, but Apple don’t make consumers who have purchased your device feel as though their product which may be no more than a few months old feel as though they are driving a Ford Model T in 2011.
Charlie Sheen is doing something that is incredibly remarkable: He’s branding his version of crazy.
Seriously, if you walk up to the average person on the street and ask them “Are you winning?”, they’ll either roll their eyes or bust out laughing and say “Hell yeah! With my Tiger’s Blood!”.
Which leads us back to last night…
My wife and I actually watched the first take of Sheen’s Korner (Spelled with a K, because “That’s how I roll” Sheen said) in its entirety. When it first began, Sheen captured the hearts of around 115,000 fans and it was just fine too. I mean crazy, all over the place and slightly manic, but nothing that Sheen hasn’t shown us these past few weeks.
That said, it was a mess. Sheen himself even labeled it an “experiment” about five or six times in the first ten minutes, which is fine, but whatever semblance of order there may have been quickly dissipated. From his sound guy in the back who would throw in useless fart noises as well as bedding music you couldn’t hear, to Sheen’s failed attempt to get the “President” (of what I’m still not sure) on the phone (I think one of his friends ended up calling in?). Not to mention the absolute travesty of asking Twitter followers to answer questions…then completely moving on and not coming back to them…at all.
What it all added up to was the feeling of a bunch of college kids that stole a camera(s) from the university TV Station, put some ideas on index cards, got drunk and went live on the web.
I know that Sheen claims he’s sober, and he may be, but he sure didn’t look like it last night.
By the end of the 45 minute episode, the show had lost roughly 20% of its initial pull. Yet he was able to retain between 85,000 - 90,000 views for the whole show. Which is pretty impressive when you think about it.
Why did people watch? Well…if you’re me, it was pure curiosity I guess. If you’re everyone else…I’m going to go with the same answer. I’m sure that there were a good amount of people on there last night that are die hard Sheen “Winners”, but how many were there for him, or for the continual live deconstruction of a person’s mind? Not sure.
This experiment proved one thing: Crazy Sells!
Look I’m a fan of Sheen, have been ever since he graced the screen of my favorite 80’s classics, but it’s pretty clear that the man is burning through the last vestiges of whatever sanity he has left.
The question remains though, if people keep coming to watch, why should he stop?
I need to write on my blog more…I have written anything about technology in a few weeks. Maybe I got burnt out and needed to take a break…which is completely understandable. People need to take breaks from things…no runs on all cylinders all the time, and I need to realize when its time for me to take a step back and breathe.
To be honest, after the events at MWC I really don’t know what is going on in the tech industry. I heard there’s an Apple announcement tomorrow. After all this Charlie Sheen nonsense the press conference will be no where near as exciting…