Not much silver lining for RIM fans

It’s getting harder and harder to be RIM.

If it’s not service outages, it’s shaky product launches or, worse yet, rumours of a buy-out at Waterloo, Ont.-based Research in Motion Ltd. The latest hit came in the release date for the Playbook’s new OS 2

After the largest service outage the smart phone maker had ever seen, RIM bounced back with its announcement about a new, unified OS for its phones and tablets; BBX. Leveraging the successes of QNX’s Playbook platform, and the speed and simplicity BB OS is known for, the proposed singular platform was purported to also be incredibly fast.

The hitch? As unlikely as it might seem, with everything on the line, RIM has pushed back the release of BBX until February 2012. But will this be just another bump in one of the bumpiest years the Waterloo-based phone maker has faced? Or possibly the sign of things yet worse to come?

Terrence O’Brien, of Engadget, tries to console PlayBook adopters (a little) before giving them some tough love. “Well, we hope you weren’t expecting to have PlayBook 2.0 up and running on your BlackBerry tablet any time soon, cause it’s been officially delayed till at least February,” he said. “Considering the company’s track record, we wouldn’t be shocked if the OS update slips even further into the future — remember an email client was promised within 60 days of launch… that was back in April.”

Trevor Mogg, of Yahoo News!’s Digital Trends Blog, bemoans the features that have been stripped from the release, alongside the delay announcement. “Worse than that, the blog post says the long-awaited BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) app won’t be included in the update, leaving PlayBook owners having to continue using Bridge with a BlackBerry phone to get it on the tablet – the same goes for email,” he said. “Calendar and contact apps are also wrapped up in the delay – features which PlayBook owners have been expecting since the tablet was launched in April.”

Matthew Miller, of ZDNet’s The Mobile Gadgeteer, tries to find the silver lining, but comes up a little short with only a handful of condolences and the possibility of an HP-like price drop. “It’s really sad to see the PlayBook update getting delayed this long to where it will be nearly a year after launch before 2.0 hits,” he said. “I imagine plenty of people that were holding out for the update are going to just give up and not wait at least four more months, unless it gets delayed again. We will probably see more fire sales of the PlayBook coming from retailers given this latest news.”

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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