The BlackBerry PlayBook is dead. Raise your hand if you're surprised. To be fair, the PlayBook was kind of doomed from the start, and fell way short of analyst projections. It's hard to state just how many PlayBooks BlackBerry sold (because the company only listed "shipped" numbers), but it wasn't a heck of a lot.
BlackBerry's trusty CEO, Thorsten Heins, did not officially kill the PlayBook, but he did sink it when he announced that the PlayBook would not be receiving a BlackBerry 10 OS update. Heins also told press that the future of BlackBerry largely depends on the new OS.
Where BlackBerry Is Headed
It's kind of a sad tale to tell. BlackBerry was once such a promising company. Head of all Canadian tech companies, and leader of the QWERTY smartphone movement. But then it all went downhill. Device after device, BlackBerry (then RIM) created the same old thing while competitors, like Apple, were making smartphones that broke the mold.
Now, BlackBerry is still struggling. The company's one and only hope is the new 10 OS. This new OS is the future of the company, and that's a bit of fact that Heins knows rather well. He told press that the company would be focusing on core hardware, only, from now on.
That means that you can expect to see BlackBerry's focus shift from all other devices directly to the company's smartphones and new OS. Anything else will just get in the way of this company getting its head out of the sand. Is there any hope for BlackBerry at all?
What it All Means
If you happen to be one of the few consumers that purchased a PlayBook, this is the end of the road for your device. You can still use your PlayBook (BlackBerry is not abandoning it yet), but you can't update it. Once a device cannot be further updated, it's as good as killed. It also means that BlackBerry is treading water. Narrowing in to focus on the new OS seems like a 'last straw' sort of tactic for the company.
Hopefully, it's a tactic that works. It would be a shame to see BlackBerry disappear completely. I have to say, though, it doesn't look good for the Waterloo company. In the end, the PlayBook is going to vanish, not that it ever had a fair shot to begin with. It was, all things considered, a solid tablet that never got a fair shake. Now, it's a tablet that might as well have never been created.
What's next for BlackBerry? Q10 OS, maybe some new phones, and a straggling company. Hopefully, Heins knows what he is doing this time around, and here's hoping that he's made the right decision. Sorry, PlayBook owners, there's nowhere left for you to go. What do you think?
Will BlackBerry survive? Or, is this the final nail in the coffin? Do you have a PlayBook? What will you do with it? Maybe you can hack it up for parts - there's little chance that you can sell it now!