With all of the news about the iPad 2 today, we have to wonder if the faces at RIM had unhappy expressions on them. The news that the iPad 2 would start arriving on March 11th can’t be good news for the sales of the PlayBook, which will arrive on April 10th.
Actually, we are not so sure that the news of the iPad 2 is as bad as it could have been for RIM. The upgrades to the iPad over the previous generation are actually incremental when compared to what they could have been, and this leaves RIM with some breathing room. Of course, the PlayBook is going to have to hit it out of the park and capitalize in the areas that the iPad 2 might still be viewed as weak.
An analyst that we spoke with today does agree that the news isn’t as bad as it could have been. “RIM is going to need to make a big impression with the PlayBook and offer a number of advantages and features that the iPad 2 doesn’t have to an impact, and that is difficult with a first generation product. Still, from what we have seen with the PlayBook the bigger question is if RIM can find an application that really drives the sales of the PlayBook; and so far, despite rumors of Android support we are not sure RIM is where it needs to be on the PlayBook yet.”
The tablet market does continue to heat up, but it is difficult to declare a winner at this point. Apple is controlling the market so far and it will be hard to chip away at their market share. Of course, there is still hope that it can be done, but it remains to be seen if the PlayBook is the device to do it.