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March 16, 2011

BlackBerry PlayBook will boast FaceTime style video chatting

by Darren Allan

With the launch of the iPad 2 still ringing in everyone’s ears – specifically, the cries of the queued masses who were turned away when stock ran out across America – Rim is hoping that people haven’t forgotten their tablet effort.

The 7 inch PlayBook slate should be released inside the next month (in the US, anyway, we’ll have to wait longer), but Rim still has some revelations to make about its upcoming BlackBerry.

TG Daily notes that the company has just revealed that a FaceTime style video chat system will come on board the tablet. This peer-to-peer video-conferencing application will be Rim’s own work, apparently.

The big question now, of course, is how the PlayBook is going to fare in the light of the iPad 2 launch, which even after just one weekend already appears to be a storming success.

The PlayBook is certainly one of the stronger contenders, and a slick video chat app to go with the tablet’s far superior twin cameras – the iPad 2s poor quality cameras were certainly a source of criticism from reviewers – is part of Rim’s advantage.

The BlackBerry also has a faster processor (1GHz versus the iPad 2′s reported 900MHz), and does Flash on the web, alongside true multi-tasking with its new QNX operating system.

Of course, stacked against this is the fact that iOS is already well-established, particularly on the app front. The iPad 2 also has a superior and more spacious 10 inch display, and is now lighter and slimmer, a slick piece of technology.

And Apple has a big lead in the market already – with another month, how many more iPad 2 sales are we going to see? A lot is a very safe bet.

It’s starting to become doubtful if any alternative tablet can mount a serious challenge to the iWonder, although collectively, the likes of the PlayBook, Xoom and TouchPad are bound to erode Apple‘s market share to some extent.

Incidentally, we’ve often scratched our heads regarding the PlayBook name, but we think we’ve worked out what Rim was thinking. When we wrote the headline for this article, we accidentally typed Facebook instead of PlayBook.

Is the Canadian company going for success by association, in a subliminal style? Maybe they should have called it the BlackBerry GoogBook. Or the BlackBerry FaceTwit? Maybe even the MePad?

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