Mar 252011

That backfiring car you heard last night was probably RIM’s earnings announcement. Turns out they were a little disappointing. After failing to meet any of the market’s expectations for their most recent quarter, the company followed up by painting a less-than-optimistic future for their next quarter, resulting in the 10% nosedive of the stock’s price that it’s currently enjoying.

According to some analyst clucking, one bright spot on RIM’s near-term horizon is the PlayBook, a 7” “professional-grade” tablet that RIM will be launching next month. Eager to hear a motivational speech from RIM’s co-CEO Jim Balsillie about the virtues of the BlackBerry tablet, they were instead treated to some incoherent rambling reminiscent of Tweedle Dumb’s appearance at the D: Dive into Mobile conference. Now if RIM were based out of Quebec and not Ontario, the way their executives speak might have some “language barrier” element to it. But after reading the transcript of RIM’s earnings call, TMA is going with a new theory: lead in the drinking water.

To give readers a window into the mind of the other half of the RIM executive brain trust, TMA turns to the good folks at Business Insider. This is Jim explaining why the PlayBook supports Android 2.3 “Gingerbread” apps (ones made for Android shartphones™) instead of Android 3.0 “Honeycomb” apps (ones that run on what the PlayBook is supposed to be):

(With Gingerbread) you’ve got the volume of the handset apps, so if you’re looking for the tonnage of apps, or some kind of long tail stuff, you’ve got it.

At the end of the day, people are going to want performance. You’re just not going to get things like gaming and multimedia, you’re not going to get the speed going through a VM interface. If you want content, or Flash type stuff, or you’re looking at AIR-type, evolving web-type assets, that’s what you’re going to do.

There’s no compromise here. You’ve got the tonnage of apps. And you’ve got the performance. Do I think the tonnage is overplayed? Yes.

So here’s the value proposition “tonnage” of the BlackBerry PlayBook, in a nutshell:

-It’s a 7” tablet. Obviously hoping to capture some of the Dell’s Streak market appeal.

– It will wirelessly connect to your BlackBerry smartphone to access to email, calendar, address book, task list and BBM. You have to tether your tablet to a device to use these things. Worked for Palm’s Folio, I guess.

-It will run Android apps that were made for handsets, which ensures they will look shitty – in a virtualized environment, which ensures they’ll run shitty.

-It will run apps created in Adobe’s Flash/Air SDK (Flair? Judges?), an awesome battery-sipping runtime, and WebWorks SDK (webapps, a la iPhone circa 2007) natively.

-When the Native Development Toolkit for PlayBook (which isn’t even in beta until May i.e. a month after the device is launched), is released, that’ll be a fourth way to get apps onto the device. I’m pretty sure RIM would prefer this way, but then again their whole product philosophy confuses the shit out of TMA.

Sounds like a winner. TMA can’t imagine why the market was so rough on them.

  3 Responses to “RIM’s Executives Should Consider Talking Less”

  1. “ones made for Android shartphones™”

    HA! Fantastic!

  2. Seems like no amount of technobabble can disguise the fact that RIM’s is not an OS with over a decade of thoughtful development.

    In fact, it makes it all the more apparent.

  3. When you consider that there’s 2 CEO’s and 3 COO’s in the organization, that’s a lot of “tonnage”.

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