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RIM struggling to fix PlayBook tablet battery issues, analyst says

post #1 of 86
Thread Starter 
Research in Motion is unable to match the iPad's longer battery life with its prototype PlayBook tablets, which get just a "few hours" of battery life, according to one analyst.

Analyst Shaw Wu of Kaufman Bros. issued a note to investors Tuesday warning that engineering issues with the BlackBerry PlayBook's battery life could be the cause of delays. According to Wu, the PlayBook's "relatively poor battery life of a few hours" needs improvement. By comparison, Apple's iPad gets 10 hours of battery life and the Android-based Samsung Galaxy Tab gets 6 hours.

The battery issue could "require a bit of re-engineering," said Wu, and is "likely why RIMM pushed out its launch to the May 2011 quarter." RIM had promised a first quarter 2011 launch for the PlayBook, but left the tablet off its projected revenues for its next fiscal quarter, which ends Feb. 26.

According to Wu, these battery problems have arisen partly because "QNX wasn't originally designed for mobile environments." RIM bought QNX, which makes operating systems for everything from "cars to nuclear reactors," earlier this year.

The note also addresses several other concerns over RIM. The analyst sees good progress being made on QNX, but found that developers are "questioning the wisdom" of maintaining two operating systems, BlackBerry OS 6 and QNX. Another concern for Wu is app store monetization for the BlackBerry platform, which lacks the varied app selection that Apple offers in its App Store.

Despite these concerns, RIM's Jim Balsillie has insisted that the PlayBook is "way ahead" of the iPad. Co-CEO Mike Lazaridis recently said in an interview that the PlayBook OS is will lead RIM into the "next decade of mobile computing."

Wu maintained his "hold" rating for RIM, keeping the stock's price target at $60. RIM stock closed at $58.02 on Tuesday.

Wu also emphasized his position that the iPad will continue to dominate the tablet market. "As we have said before, we are not convinced that tablets outside of the iPad will see high volume success," he wrote in the note.

Though "public expectations" project between 1 million to 8 million PlayBook units sold in 2011, Wu has a conservative estimate of just 700,000 PlayBooks sold next year.

700,000 PlayBooks would likely be a small fraction of the number of iPads sold by Apple in 2011. Apple announced in May that it had sold 1 million iPads in just 28 days from launch. During Apple's most recent quarter, the iPad maker sold 4.19 million units of the popular tablet device.

A new report from DigiTimes suggests that Apple will produce about 40 million iPads next year, though an earlier report had suggested Apple may produce as many as 6 million second-generation iPads per month.
post #2 of 86
Quite frankly, I have little faith in RIM getting things right in this first iteration. They just do not have the corporate mentality that fosters creativity to do things differently. At this point, you have to assume they are merely being reactionary to what Apple has set into motion - both on the phone and tablet sides of the business. I won't say they are going to go out of business tomorrow, but if the co-ceo's don't stop flapping their lips and saying ridiculously stupid things about having better product than Apple when they don't have anything to compare to, they are not going to be long-lived.
post #3 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

According to Wu, these battery problems have arisen partly because "QNX wasn't originally designed for mobile environments."

Eh?? Come again?
This is RIM we're talking about. Everything they do is about being "mobile".

This being after the CEO was chest-thumping the superiority of the PlayBook over Apple's offering?
post #4 of 86
It seems that RIM does have a problem with the PlayBook. They keep pushing the release date. I imagine if a dual core processor is required to run a mobile OS then there will be problems.

Quote:
Though "public expectations" project between 1 million to 8 million PlayBook units sold in 2011, Wu has a conservative estimate of just 700,000 PlayBooks sold next year.

Might as well say from 1 PlayBook to 8 million
post #5 of 86
Uninstall Adobe Flash?
post #6 of 86
Well.. I wonder why it has problems depleting the battery so fast...

It's a dual-core CPU?
It runs Flash?
It's a small footprint, meaning smaller battery?

Darn... the reasons are just alluding me! </sarcasm>

These are the same mistakes that everyone else continue to make yet never learn. Can't anyone else besides Apple be more pro-active when developing a long-lasting product? Is it really that difficult to write on a piece of paper, "must run fast, light, and long-lasting" and go from there?
post #7 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by mgl323 View Post

Uninstall Adobe Flash?

Best. Comment. Ever.
post #8 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Analyst Shaw Wu of Kaufman Bros. issued a note to investors Tuesday warning that engineering issues with the BlackBerry PlayBook's battery life could be the cause of delays.

I have to agree with those that say this is still vapourware. With no dual-core demos (at least none Ive seen), no price point, and no release date this can go anywhere at this point.

Quote:
According to Wu, these battery problems have arisen partly because "QNX wasn't originally designed for mobile environments."

Neither was Mac OS X/Darwin/NeXTSTEP, WebKit, QuickTime, etc. but Apple made it efficient enough for mobiles. Just give RiM another decade and Im sure theyll work it out with QNX assuming they are still in business then.

Quote:
The note also addresses several other concerns over RIM. The analyst sees good progress being made on QNX, but found that developers are "questioning the wisdom" of maintaining two operating systems, BlackBerry OS 6 and QNX. Another concern for Wu is app store monetization for the BlackBerry platform, which lacks the varied app selection that Apple offers in its App Store.

They have no choice if they want a chance for a future. Devs will fall away from BB OS, but how much development has been going with it anyway? What is the benefit of sticking with BB OS for the unyielding future? They surely wont maintain any devs with that plan.

Quote:
Despite these concerns, RIM's Jim Balsillie has insisted that the PlayBook is "way ahead" of the iPad. Co-CEO Mike Lazaridis recently said in an interview that the PlayBook OS is will lead RIM into the "next decade of mobile computing."

Well, he might be right there. The PlayBooks resource heavy OS is designed to run HW that Apple wont need in the iPad for another decade.

Nokia, Sony and RIM all need to focus on code. These companies have so much potential outside of this myopic and antiquated view that making a flashy HW casing or some pointless spec sheet items are the only things you need to make a good product.
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post #9 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by mgl323 View Post

Uninstall Adobe Flash?

post #10 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

Eh?? Come again?
This is RIM we're talking about. Everything they do is about being "mobile".

This being after the CEO was chest-thumping the superiority of the PlayBook over Apple's offering?

RIM only recently bought QNX and indeed, it was not designed for mobile phone OSes. It's typically in higher powered devices w/a constant power supply.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qnx
post #11 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by mgl323 View Post

Uninstall Adobe Flash?

Uninstall Adobe Air. Who needs a GUI anyway? Real users use a shell.
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post #12 of 86
If this is the device to take RIMM into the next decade... this doesn't bode too well.
post #13 of 86
This is embarrassing. RIM is going to mess this up too, aren't they?

They were fools to pre-announce so early, and to "compete" with features in today's iPad. Sad really.
post #14 of 86
RIMM have been on my doomed radar for a while now. I find it very hard to see how they are going to survive the onslaught from Google and Microsoft (if microsoft sort themselves out) on the bread and butter business front. Even Apple are showing signs of desiring a piece of their corporate pie, but then why wouldn't they...it's practically being given away.
post #15 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Neither was Mac OS X/Darwin/NeXTSTEP, WebKit, QuickTime, etc. but Apple made it efficient enough for mobiles.

The difference is that apple spent years to pare back and refine the software to ensure the user experience worked on the iPhone/iPad.

Rim's work on their frankentablet amounted to taking qnx, adobe air, cortex a9, and whatever UI they've cobbled together and throw it all against a wall and see what sticks.

If they want to make a competitive product, Rim needs to take their time to produce a solid device that competes with the iPad.

One iPad killer's down for the count, let's see how long it takes for HP's iPad killer to bite the dust.
post #16 of 86
So much for Jim Balsillie's claim that the Playbook is "way ahead" of the iPad. Even if it does amazing things that the iPad cannot (which I kinda doubt), who cares if it can only do so for a short period of time?

The thing isn't even out yet and yet it's both "way ahead" and way behind. Sigh. \
post #17 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by mgl323 View Post

Uninstall Adobe Flash?

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post #18 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by jca666us View Post

The difference is that apple spent years to pare back and refine the software to ensure the user experience worked on the iPhone/iPad.

Rim's work on their frankentablet amounted to taking qnx, adobe air, cortex a9, and whatever UI they've cobbled together and throw it all against a wall and see what sticks.

If they want to make a competitive product, Rim needs to take their time to produce a solid device that competes with the iPad.

One iPad killer's down for the count, let's see how long it takes for HP's iPad killer to bite the dust.

The problem is...

Why announce a product that is not even finished?
post #19 of 86
So RIM needs two CEOs to do the job of one normal one?
post #20 of 86
Storm, strike 1
Storm 2, strike 2
Playbook, strike 3?
post #21 of 86
gosh, you mean the mashup of QNX and Adobe whatever is trickier than RIM thought?

i thought with two genius CEO's RIM was twice as smart as everyone else (four times as smart as MS).
post #22 of 86
This is what happens when you jump the gun!
post #23 of 86
Just keep calling us Apple fans sheeple if it makes you feel better.
post #24 of 86
Sorry.
Could not resist.
post #25 of 86
Plenty of "mobile" stuff are embedded with QNX without a large battery --- from handheld military radios to highend logitech universal remotes.

http://onqpl.blogspot.com/2010/05/30...nger-into.html

QNX made a demo of running their OS in the compaq ipaq a million years ago.

http://eqip.openqnx.com/ipaq_bsp/embed_intro.html
post #26 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

So RIM needs two CEOs to do the job of one normal one?

Co-CEOs - lol - And neither one is any good...
post #27 of 86
They were touting how speedy the browser was .. using a dual core processor. In a tablet? More powerful processors of any given generation typically use more power. Why would anyone be surprised at battery life issues?
post #28 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary54 View Post

They were touting how speedy the browser was .. using a dual core processor. In a tablet? More powerful processors of any given generation typically use more power. Why would anyone be surprised at battery life issues?

At the Rogers event, it was clearly stated by QNX that they were only running a single core for the browser for the moment (because it was ported by the Torch browser team, not by QNX themselves).

Shaw Wu has no idea what he was talking about --- because he is blaming it on QNX. Plenty of embedded low-powered battery operated stuff are done with QNX.

If the RIM Playbook does indeed have a battery life issue --- then it is (1) adobe flash and (2) fast dual core cpu --- nothing to do with QNX itself.
post #29 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

So RIM needs two CEOs to do the job of one normal one?

First of all, they are not CEOs but co-CEOs.

Much like many 'family' run limited companies, the man listed at the top may consider himself The CEO. However, it is the wife that really has the final say.

By the way, there are many companies that have three co-CEOs.

Some of the well-known companies that use/have used these power-sharing structures [co-CEOs] include Bed Bath & Beyond, Martha Stewart, Charles Schwab, Golden West Financial, and Neiman Marcus Group. as well as, Citigroup, Daimle.rChrysler, and Bank of America

And considering the financial crisis we are experiencing today, perhaps there should be more co-CEOs. Better yet, make it a capital crime subject to capital punishment for one of them if found guilty of scamming its investors.
post #30 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Well, he might be right there. The PlayBooks resource heavy OS is designed to run HW that Apple wont need in the iPad for another decade.

The resource heaviness is an adobe flash problem --- which is really a website designer problem. Remember the playbook vs. ipad browser video where they show html5 animation and notice how slow the ipad was.

The same idiot that designs a website with adobe flash that requires a dual-core CPU in order to view smoothly ---- is going to design the same website with HTML5 animation that requires a dual-core CPU.

You don't need to wait for another decade for the need of dual core cpu. There are plenty of idiots that will code their websites with all kinds of crazy HTML5 graphics that requires a fast dual core cpu with gpu hardware accel. browser.
post #31 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Onhka View Post

First of all, they are not CEOs but co-CEOs.

QNX used to have alternating CEO's between the two founders. One guy is the CEO and the other guy is the president --- and they flipped the positions every year.
post #32 of 86
As Balsillie said, 'Playbook is way ahead of iPad' ... he meant in power consumption I now realize.
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post #33 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by haruhiko View Post

The problem is...

Why announce a product that is not even finished?

I'm guessing but perhaps he was hoping to dent iPad sales over Christmas and also maybe to excite share holders? Pretty stupid move though, whatever the reason.
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post #34 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

I'm guessing but perhaps he was hoping to dent iPad sales over Christmas and also maybe to excite share holders? Pretty stupid move though, whatever the reason.

Large number of enterprise customers got their Playbook for testing 6 weeks after they originally announced it --- news would have leaked out anyway.
post #35 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"...RIMM pushed out its launch to the May 2011 quarter."

When they first announced it I really wanted it to succeed or at least make some impact. May 2011 means shipping, assuming they get the kinks sorted out, middle of 2011. And that's probably just starting in North America alone for the first few months! Well past 1.5 years after Apple announced the first-generation iPad, by the time PlayBook gains any traction globally. RIMM has been talking this up like it was going to come in and destroy the iPad and be a big game changer. What utter CEO-speak corporate lying gibberish nonsense. They're running scared, holding on to their BlackBerry cash cow is all they have left in 2011, it's too late to catch up with iPhone, iPad and Android Gingebread.

There is only one (well two) words for this.
PLAYJOB FAIL
post #36 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Onhka View Post

...And considering the financial crisis we are experiencing today, perhaps there should be more co-CEOs...

Not if they are like RIMM's. BTW which one is responsible for the PlayBook's failure?
Might as well start assigning the blame now.
post #37 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Neither was Mac OS X/Darwin/NeXTSTEP, WebKit, QuickTime, etc. but Apple made it efficient enough for mobiles. Just give RiM another decade and I’m sure they’ll work it out with QNX… assuming they are still in business then. .

People also forget that mobile is more than just "handheld". Apple has been dealing with battery tech since the late 80's when the Mac Portable debuted with a lead acid battery. Years after building PowerBooks and even Newtons gave Apple enough expertise to manage iPod batteries which led to iPhones and iPads. Apple even now does their own proprietary battery chemistry.

Strangely, you'd think that RIM which has been only building battery-enabled handhelds for a decade would be better than this. But I guess the lesson learned here is that battery tech and management is a lot harder thait looks.
post #38 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by samab View Post

If the RIM Playbook does indeed have a battery life issue --- then it is (1) adobe flash and (2) fast dual core cpu --- nothing to do with QNX itself.

Its unfair to blame it on QNX as a whole, but I believe the implementation of QNX on the Playbook could definitely contribute to poor battery life. There are many choices that can be made when implementing the OS that will impact battery life and I have no doubt that the "true" multitasking that RIM is attempting is a big one.

I suppose its a bit of chicken/egg. If RIM decides to have "true" multitasking and QNX burns lots of power as a result then who's fault is it? RIM's for deciding to implement "true" multitasking? Or QNX' for using lots of power when multitasking?

Either way I believe there is some validity to Shaw Wu's claim that making QNX perform on a tablet is a much different implementation that QNX has done in the past and presents challenges that maybe they haven't overcome yet.
post #39 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by samab View Post

Large number of enterprise customers got their Playbook for testing 6 weeks after they originally announced it --- news would have leaked out anyway.

I don't think thats quite true. I think RIM has been a bit disingenuous when talking about who has the Playbook in their hands. I think they've got dev models that they're showing around, but I don't think there are many large customers with actual models in their own possession. I know of some very significant launch partners who aren't expecting models for development until a month from now.
post #40 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by mgl323 View Post

Uninstall Adobe Flash?

Hahaha. Good one.

Yea the playbook is a small notch above vaporware at this point . That said I think RIM is way ahead of their corporate equals - MS and Nokia. RIM has a loyal corporate following, at least on the east coast. I think this will help the PlayBook in terms of speed of adoption and acceptability in the corporate world.
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