RIM tablet beset with battery problems?
One analyst, citing internal sources, says the new BlackBerry Playbook needs help.
The upcoming BlackBerry PlayBook from RIM has a battery that lasts only a few hours per charge, writes Shaw Wu, an analyst with Kaufman Bros. The Digital Daily blog picked up on the report.
If that's the case, the PlayBook will have a hard time making a strong run against the iPad, which can last for nearly 10 hours on one charge. Even Samsung's Galaxy Tab can go about six hours, writes John Paczkowski. Update: RIM has responded to Wu's claim. More below.
So where does this leave RIM? Back to the battery drawing board, it looks like. "From our understanding, this [is] likely why RIMM pushed out its launch to the May 2011 quarter," Wu writes in his note. Post continues after video:
One problem, he adds, is that the software platform that the PlayBook uses, QNX, was originally designed for devices like network equipment and cars where battery life isn't as much a constraint.
Paczkowski speculates that the answer here might be a bigger battery, but that's going to make the PlayBook a little bulkier and less sexy.
Wu now thinks RIM will only sell about 700,000 PlayBooks next year, a far cry from the 1 million to 8 million figure other analysts throw out, Paczkowski writes.
RIM shares don't seem to be suffering from the news, however. The stock is flat Wednesday at $58.
RIM responded late Wednesday to the issue with the following statement (hat tip Forbes):
"Any testing or observation of battery life to date by anyone outside of RIM would have been performed using pre-beta units that were built without power management implemented. RIM is on track with its schedule to optimize the BlackBerry PlayBook’s battery life and looks forward to providing customers with a professional grade tablet that offers superior performance with comparable battery life.”
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The solid report comes a month after the retailer closed all of its Canadian operations.
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