For one week, everything went right for the BlackBerry brand. On Tuesday RIM released BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0, among a few other updates.
Yes, we knew this was coming, but that’s part of the point.
So many times in the past few years RIM has delayed a release. I remember in the relatively early days of BBGeeks waiting and waiting and waiting for them to get the Bold 9000 to AT&T. Those delays continued right through this very release. Remember, OS 2.0 was supposed to drop in October, but RIM needed more time to work out the kinks.
But they got it right this time.
Of course, this is just one on-time instance. Is it significant that it came after a shake-up that left the company with a new CEO and chairman of the board? Probably not, since this update has been in the works for months, and was probably on the brink of being ready once the change was made official. So instead of being an indicator of the current regime, it’s just an indicator that RIM got things right this time. Their next test could come soon.
Rumors have run that a new PlayBook is coming in April, and PlayBook OS 3.0 is in the works. Hit these dates, and it will inspire even more confidence. Get the first BlackBerry 10 device out in August or September, and that’s a winning streak. RIM could sure use one right now.
Without too great a tint on my rose-colored glasses, I think that RIM can do this. My big question is whether they can win over the market. If they were a brand new competitor, it would be one thing. But RIM has lost millions of customers to other smartphones, such as Android and iPhone. Part of their challenge will be convincing some of those customers that the BlackBerry can fulfill their needs now, as it did not previously. That’s a tough task for any company.
Still, getting devices out on time is a good first step. It helps that RIM got it right with PlayBook OS 2.0 — they even have one tech outlet singing their praises, calling the PlayBook the best low-cost tablet on the market.
That’s a pretty significant step forward, I’d say.