During RIM’s earnings conference call yesterday, RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie took a few minutes to hype up the upcoming RIM Playbook while also taking a few shots at Apple.
When asked about plans to take on Google and Apple in the tablet space, Balsillie didn’t mince words.
“I think the PlayBook redefines what a tablet should do,” Balsillie said. Elaborating, Balsillie explained that, in his opinion, the market will shift away from proprietary SDKs and what he deemed “unnecessary apps.” So what will folks use tablets, or at the very least, RIM’s tablet for? “Web fidelity and tool familiarity… You don’t need an app for the Web.”
Sounds like Balsillie is trying to deny the fact that apps provide a crucial selling point for tablet consumers. Which, of course, isn’t all that surprising given the relative weakness of apps available for RIM devices.
So what will RIM focus on, if not apps? Performance apparently.
“I think there’s going to be a rapid desire for high performance. And I think we’re way ahead on that,” Balsillie continued. “And I think CIO friendliness, we’re way ahead on that… I think the PlayBook clearly sets the bar WAY higher on performance, and you’re going to see more…”
Funny, one of the more prevalent points of praise directed at the iPad upon its release was how blazing fast the device was. So while Balsillie might be counting on high performance to move units, he might be surprised to learn that no one seems to have a problem whatsoever with performance on the iPad. And with the next-gen iPad set for release in early 2011, system performance is bound to get even better.
One other area where RIM is clearly not ahead of the pack is market and mindshare. Again, here we have a classic example of Apple selling a complete user experience while RIM is touting abstract selling points like “high performance.” The iPad currently owns the global tablet market with a 95% marketshare. On the flipside, your average consumer probably has no idea what a RIM Playbook even is.