Research In Motion was just crushed by the critics who almost unanimously told consumers not to buy its new tablet, the BlackBerry PlayBook.
It looks bad, and RIM’s stock is down 2.24% on the reviews, but there’s a sliver of hope in those reviews.
Most of the reviewers see a lot of potential in the new BlackBerry operating system QNX. While it’s not quite ready for primetime now, all the critics said they’re excited to see it developed and think it could be good on smartphones.
So, maybe by this time next year RIM will have an operating system that can go toe to toe with Android and iOS.
Obviously RIM is being blown away by Apple and Android right now, and it can’t afford to waste time making QNX ready for smartphones, but if you’re looking for the sunny side of the generally bad news that came out of the PlayBook reviews here it is:
- Walt Mossberg: So is there anything good about the PlayBook? Actually, yes. I really liked the user interface of the new operating system, which is based on software RIM bought called QNX. It’s smooth and fast, and makes excellent use of multitouch gestures. An area at the bottom of the screen holds the icons, which are divided into sections like “All,” “Media,” “Games” and “favourites.” When you have multiple apps open, large images of them appear at the top of the screen, and you can scroll though them. It’s a very clean, attractive approach.
- Joshua Topolsky: Let me say first and foremost that the PlayBook is a really solid device with a handsome and clean industrial design, a hefty set of specs, and a new operating system that shows tons of promise. RIM has absolutely delivered in many areas here, proving that as a company it can do a lot more than just utilitarian smartphones. The value of the acquisitions of both QNX and TAT are clearly represented in this product, and it’s clear that this is just the beginning of long relationships between these companies. Relationships that can obviously yield great results.
- Matt Buchanan: PlayBook is the most thoughtful product that RIM’s put out in a long time. A BlackBerry has never been this smooth or fluid. It has the best multitasking of any tablet out so far, both in terms of straight-up ballsiness (you can pump 1080p video out to an HDTV via HDMI while dicking around in another app or two back on the tablet and everything runs neatly) and the UI, which it borrows liberally from Palm’s webOS.
- Jonathan Geller, BGR: The company is entering a brand new space, and I can’t wait to see future versions of the PlayBook and even smartphones that will eventually (in 2012) use the new OS as opposed to the traditional BlackBerry OS. RIM has really made big advancements by acquiring powerhouses like QNX and TAT, but there’s only so much you can do with a limited time frame.