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Blackberry Playbook hit by development challenges

Jenny Williams

Research in Motion (RIM) could be late to market with its Blackberry Playbook tablet device after experiencing several development challenges, an ex-employee has claimed.

According to an ex-RIM corporate development and M&A employee, Raymond Reddy, RIM has faced difficulty in porting the Blackberry smartphone interface, including the email application, to the Playbook's QNX operating system (OS), which is a different OS platform to that used by its smartphones.

Reddy also told Business Insider, third-party applications will be limited at launch and a wi-fi only version may prevent connection to some corporate Blackberry email accounts.

Rob Bamforth, analyst at Quorcirca, said the tablet being wi-fi only would not be a problem. However, RIM needs to overcome the differences between the OS platforms to ensure a seamless experience across its smartphone and tablet devices. "The issue is transparency of portability between device platforms," he said.

Bamforth added that RIM are under pressure to match its successful corporate email services on its smartphone devices on its new tablet device. "Executive decision-makers looking at RIM's tablet devices will expect to use the same applications on the Playbook as it can on the Blackberry smartphones. They have to get that right. And if that means delaying a launch, it's not a bad thing. It would be worse to come out with something that doesn't integrate," said Bamforth.

Neil Mawston, analyst at Strategy Analytics, recently warned 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.

See images of the Blackberry Playbook.


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