BlackBerry PlayBook 2.0 Upgrade – Still Not An Enterprise Tool

BlackBerry PlayBook 2.0 Upgrade – Still Not An Enterprise Tool

RIM has announced the impending release (Feb 12) of version 2.0 of the BlackBerry Playbook software. This software update will bring a wide range of additional functionality to the device including:

  • Email Client Application – Native email application supporting multiple email accounts as well as social networks within the same client. Additional functionality includes inbox management tools such as setting out-of-office messages and email signatures
  • Integrated Social Relationships – Applications such as calendar and contacts have been ‘socialised’ e.g. you can see tweets or status updates directly from a contact in the contact application
  • Improved BlackBerry Bridge –  Attachments can be viewed on the Playbook which is great for looking at spreadsheets or large PDFs on a larger screen. You can also use your BlackBerry smartphone to control the Playbook remotely, for example, pausing a movie or music to take a call
  • Improved Document Handling – Improvements to Documents To Go will make it easier to compose and edit documents whilst out and about

However, it would appear that the PlayBook 2.0 email client doesn’t support native BES email and instead accesses email using Microsoft Active Sync, whilst BlackBerry Fusion (RIM’s Mobile Device Management) will control and secure the Playbook with remote wipe functionality.

Arrow’s View: The PlayBook has always struggled for sales and it’s positioning is still confusing – no native email application at the original launch and odd branding. Whilst the upgrade will bring some good new functionality it’s clearly more relevant to the consumer and lower end of the SME market. Given that lots of our customers are adopting iPads together with device management solutions then we feel this update is too little too late for the success of the PlayBook especially with rumours of an iPad3 around the corner.