Photo: Inside BlackBerry (RIM)
According to a video posted this afternoon by Research In Motion, the first version of the upcoming PlayBook tablet will work best as an add-on to a BlackBerry phone.The demonstration shows a PlayBook connected to a Torch over a secure Bluetooth connection.
There’s some pretty slick synchronisation between the devices — as the user reads, deletes, and flags email messages on the PlayBook, they’re updated on the Torch at the same time. The presenter also shows how the PlayBook can connect to other data through a BlackBerry Enterprise Server, like Microsoft Office files and an SAP system.
There’s only one problem: who wants to use two devices simultaneously?
The video presenter makes it clear that this is a benefit for corporate IT departments, not end users, saying that “IT can use PlayBook immediately, leveraging the same security as BlackBerry, with no new accounts or data plans to set up.”
The thing is, IT has much less influence over purchases of personal devices like smartphones and tablets than it did a couple years ago. iPads are coming into the enterprise through end-users — often IT staffers or executives. The IT department is then FORCED to support them. What, they’re going to tell the CEO no?
Certain organisations with strict security rules and a big RIM investment — government agencies come to mind — might be able to force their users to add a PlayBook tablet as their secondary device. But for the mass market who want to use their (mostly) personal devices to do occasional work, this is going to be a hard sell.
Video is below: