At the recent Devcon conference in San Francisco RIM executives showed off the company’s new tablet computer called Playbook.
Although the device is not in production yet and they had no actual hardware for people to play with, the thing most interesting was the new QNX OS that will run Playbook.
The Canadian company that makes the QNX OS is pretty much unknown but the fact that RIM recently bought the company and now is using its OS for its tablet computer raised a few techie eyeballs.
RIM executives have now confirmed that the QNX OS will also be slowly migrated over to the smartphone platform in the next couple of generations and replace the Blackberry OS. This may be a very important step in getting RIM back in the smartphone game as they’ve been losing market share to Iphone and Android devices.
Initially all the buzz was how would the new Playbook stack up against the Ipad and the potpourri of other competitors pursuing it?
Others now have had a chance to look at what RIM is doing and think they may be onto something. They are not positioning Playbook as a direct competitor to Ipad but instead of an enterprise tool for serious users that already use the Blackberry Enterprise server … which no other tablets can do.
Their software development strategy is also uniquely different from the rest. The other tablet manufacturers have all used their smartphone OS’s and modified them to run their tablets. RIM is doing the reverse. They are taking their Playbook OS and modifying it to run their smartphones … which might give them a lot more robust and capable system with fewer bugs.
As IDC analyst Al Hilwa said in a Sept. 28 research note … the introduction of Playbook may go down as “the day RIM began to get its mojo back.”