Despite not having a firm release date quite yet, it looks like Research In Motion’s first tablet device, the BlackBerry PlayBook, might be looking at a few delays. According to analyst Shaw Wu with Kaufman Bros., a significant issue with the battery may be causing RIM to look at delaying the tablet. Wu has heard this from sources close to the matter. As of right now, in its current state, it looks like the PlayBook can only manage a “few hours,” and against the major competition which can manage between 6 and 10 hours of battery life, that’s simply not good enough.
According to Wu, the issue is battery life. And some of the options that the company are kicking around, which include a bigger, and heavier battery, may negate the “bonuses” of having a smaller, 7-inch tablet device. Wu points out that this may have something to do with the fact that RIM has pushed back the BlackBerry PlayBook’s release date until some time in the May quarter of 2011. Wu adds, “Keep in mind that QNX wasn’t originally designed for mobile environments but rather for devices like network equipment and automobiles where battery life isn’t as much [of] a constraint.”
If that’s not enough to dampen the mood for RIM’s tablet plans, Wu also points out that developers aren’t all that gung-ho about the device, either. They point out that the distinction between the QNX software, and BlackBerry 6, and the fact that there’s not a lot of apps, or people buying apps, from BlackBerry’s App World. There doesn’t seem to be enough apps, or users, to generate a cash flow, according to Wu. And the tablet isn’t looking like it will help matters.
At the time of this writing, Research In Motion hasn’t made a comment on the possibility of a delay due to battery issues. However, they are still sticking to a timeframe of early 2011 for the release of the PlayBook. Keeping the release date open, and not narrowing it down to an exact date, may be driving some people crazy, it’s a good way to make sure that if there is a delay, they can still, maybe, reach their goal.