PlayBook recall shouldn’t be fatal

Published: May 17th, 2011
Ah, the poor PlayBook. It just can't catch a break in the publicity department.
First, there was its decidedly cool reception for Research in Motion Ltd.'s tablet on its release last month. Reviews were, to be generous, mixed. Particular points at issue were: a) it has no native e-mail client, and 2) where the hell has it been for the last year? Not a promising start.
So the recent announcement of a recall of 1,000 units was greeted with plenty of eye-rolling. This device, it seems, just can't get it right.
My two cents: The recall is but a bump in the PlayBook road, and not a deal-breaker for those who want one. Most of those units, according to RIM, didn't make it into customer hands with the software flaw. They were still on store shelves, easily returned to RIM for the fix. Worst case, there would be some temporary inventory shortages.
Mind you, on the heels of its less-than-enthusiastic reception, and comlaints that some users went through hell trying to get the software that bridges the tablet to an accompanying BlackBerry smart phone — required for many applications on the device — it's not difficult to start viewing the tablet as cursed.
My other two cents (this pontificating is really cutting into my budget): From an IT department perspective, you could view the lack of native e-mail as an advantage — you don't have an extra machine to configure, and documents and e-mail stay on the phone, where they enjoy the protective embrace fo BlackBerry Enterprise Server. The (possibly necessary) phone upgrade was probably inevitable. The issues installing the bridging software are a pain, but the connectivity options make the PlayBook more useful as an enterprise device than that magical slate from Apple.
Course, my opinion isn't shared by all. Notably, ComputerWorld Canada senior writer Rafael Ruffolo took me to task for my take:

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