CES 2011: Late UK launch could hinder Blackberry tablet success


CES 2011: Late UK launch could hinder Blackberry tablet success

Jenny Williams

Research in Motion (RIM)'s delay in launching its tablet device, Blackberry Playbook, in the UK until later this year could damage its success in the tablet market, an analyst has warned.

Tablets are set to be the biggest IT device of 2011, with some business adoption expeced to take off.

RIM announced that the Playbook will be available in the US on the Sprint network later this year, but UK users will have to wait until the second quarter this year for rollouts to start.

Neil Mawston, analyst at Strategy Analytics, said the biggest danger for Blackberry was delaying launching its tablet in the UK for another six months as Samsung, Dell and Asus grab the early corporate market.

"The UK tablet market is the biggest in Western Europe outside the US and China. The longer Blackberry delays entering the UK market, the harder it will be to make up ground in the future," said Mawston.

"Maybe Blackberry are waiting until the second half of the year to come round when a lot of corporate and pro-sumers buy more expensive products than in the first half. Of course, by then, a whole bunch of Android tablets will be on the market. Timing is a double-edged sword at this stage," he added.

>> See our CES2011 coverage <<

Previewing the Playbook at the International Consumer Electronics (CES) Show in Las Vegas, Blackberry said corporate interest in the tablet was "massive".

See photos of Blackberry's Playbook.

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