Late in September of 2010 Research In Motion (RIM) unveiled their very first tablet to the world, they called it the BlackBerry PlayBook, it featured a 7-inch touchscreen and ran a new QNX-based operating system called BlackBerry Tablet OS. It took RIM a few more months to get the tablet launched in its first locations but finally on April 19th, 2011 RIM released the PlayBook in Canada and the United States.
The PlayBook started out as a Wi-Fi only tablet that was priced right in-line with the Apple iPad; 16GB for $499, 32GB for $599, and 64GB for $699. However as yet the PlayBook hasn’t made that big of splash in the tablet market. According to the Q2 of 2011 market share estimates from Strategy Analytics Apple’s iOS holds 61.3% of total OS tablet market share and RIM’s QNX holds 3.3% in the same contest.
How can RIM boost their tablet market share? Well to answer that we should look at any and all strengths that the PlayBook has over other market players that RIM can really push. Portability could be an advantage if there weren’t other 7-inch tablets around. Dual-core processing power could have been a plus for the PlayBook if it was the only dual-core tablet. Well ports the PlayBook has USB 2.0, HDMI, and a microSD card reader, but again other tablets have those things as well.
What does the PlayBook really offer that others don’t? Security, but not just any old security, the PlayBook has enterprise-grade security. The PlayBook can keep your business/work files and your personal files fenced-away from each other so your work apps can reach only your work files and your personal apps can reach your personal files. And all your work files have ‘XTS-AES-256 encryption’ protection. That’s not all though the PlayBook can be wirelessly linked to a BlackBerry smartphone over an AES-256 encrypted connection using BlackBerry Bridge.
Also The PlayBook is the first tablet to receive FIPS 140-2 certification from the U.S. Government, an award given based on a devices ability to keep data safe and secure using cryptography.
Now how can RIM use that feature to bring their market share percentage up? It’s simple really, they just need to sell the PlayBook to governments and other businesses that need data security. There have been countless polls and studies for enterprise market and it’s clear that the interest in tablets is there.
However RIM will have to battle Apple in that field too, but with the PlayBook only recently received the FIPS certification RIM’s sales force has something to really talk about to potential enterprise clients. Remember that one of the big things that kept BlackBerry smartphones at the top in the enterprise/business world was their extra security features.