BlackBerry PlayBook delay piles pressure on RIM
Published 27/10/2011 | 10:32
THE BLACKBERRY PlayBook operating system update will be delayed until next year, RIM has revealed, piling further pressure on the firm.
The setback means the software will not be released until February 2012.
"As much as we'd love to have it in your hands today, we've made the difficult decision to wait to launch BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 until we are confident we have fully met the expectations of our developers, enterprise customers and end-users," said David Smith of RIM.
The current PlayBook operating system has been criticised by reviewers and users for its lack of an email client, a traditional area of strength for BlackBerry devices. The omission has contributed to disappointing PlayBook sales since its release in April.
RIM said earlier this year it would introduce the feature this month.
Mr Smith also revealed that when it it released, the updated operating system will still not support BMM, the popular BlackBeryr instant messenger application.
"We are committed to developing a seamless BBM solution that fully delivers on the powerful, push-based messaging capabilities recognized today by BlackBerry users around the world and we're still working on it," he said.
Investors reacted badly to the news and sent RIM shares tumbling six per cent on Wednesday. The firm's stock has fallen sharply this year as it has struggled to keep pace with smartphone rivals and missed sales targets.
It follows a disastrous internet outage lasting more than three days that affected millions of BlackBerry users worldwide earlier this month. Once the problems were resolved RIM began a review of its technical infrastructure and offered users a selection of free apps as an apology.
A survey this week found that 40pc of BlackBerry users in the key business market had considered switching to an iPhone or Android device because of the outage.