The BlackBerry PlayBook was announced one year ago today

By Kevin Michaluk on 27 Sep 2011 01:01 pm EDT

One year ago today, on September 27, 2010, Research In Motion's Founder and Co-CEO Mike Lazaridis got on stage at BlackBerry DevCon and announced the BlackBerry PlayBook. Sitting in the audience live-blogging the event, I remember it as if it happened yesterday. It was emotional. When the PlayBook intro played, I literally had goosebumps (even today when I re-watch the video I get teared up). We knew a BlackBerry tablet was rumored, but I don't think anybody was fully expecting it to get announced. And I for one was super stoked over the name PlayBook. The BlackBerry Tablet OS was our first glimpse of the future of BlackBerry, and the picture painted looked exceedingly bright. Following the promo video, Mike called QNX's Dan Dodge to the stage, who talked about the strength and power of the QNX Platform that powered the PlayBook. It almost felt like he was a tech superhero (Super Dan?!) flying in to save the BlackBerry day. Watching him on stage, you couldn't help but like Dan Dodge - you could just tell he's smart, passionate and loves QNX. Totally a guy who can still pump out code with the best of them.

One year later, it's a little sad to watch the live announcement again. Saying it's been a year of PlayBook broken promises and shattered dreams would be a bit harsh (I'm sure many will argue those words are still too nice), but we've definitely had our share of disappointment these past 12 months. We're still without native email and native PIM apps, and there's still a lack of awesome third party apps (and no Android App Player yet). But we do have hope. With a big bang version 2 software release for the PlayBook on the horizon, it feels like most of our nagging wants will finally be addressed. I'm really looking forward to re-reviewing the PlayBook once that OS update hits!

Looking back and ahead: A year is a long time in the rapidly changing mobile space. If you're a PlayBook owner, how would you rate your ownership experience to date? And if you're not a PlayBook owner, do you think between PlayBook price cuts and an updated OS you might become one? Sound off in the comments! 

Reader comments

The BlackBerry PlayBook was announced one year ago today


Yea thats why I am buying one today :D. Its not cause of the price cuts or anything, but I held it off for the Bold 9900 and I'm still waiting for it to be released by my carrier. So I am getting the Playbook and saying screw the 9900 and I will just wait for the QNX Super Phones.

Broken promises,YES. Will RIM keep broken promises, I believe so. Am I going to have faith that they will get their act together, YES!!! I love my PB as well. Although, i'm not excited yet about OS 2.0 .

I had my PB for 3 days only and I absolutely love it. It just better the more I use it. This is an amazing product.

Wait until 2.0 :)

Been saying this all along, GET IT IN PEOPLE's HANDS!!! RIM didn't do this quite right, now they are forced with a price slash on existing product. The rebate program should have been more aggressive and earlier if they wanted to hit the iPad harder, then when the rebate expires and it's not in your hands people would have seen its value.

Drug dealers have been doing this effectively for years!

The Staples and Office Depot pricing has me leaning toward getting one (partially because I missed out on the TouchPad fire sales and don't want to miss out again if the PB goes down the drain), but I also want to wait to see Amazon's announcement first. If the rumored $250 price point holds and the product is, in fact, an Amazon-skinned Android tablet built on PlayBook hardware, then it'll be Amazon all the way for me.

From what I hear it's less than an Android skinned tablet. That is it will not be a fully functional tablet, and it will be cheap (low cost).

My guess is if you are on here you'll want a fully functioning tablet.

I've enjoyed my PB but there have been frustrations. The bridge is not good enough yet. Still buggy.

My other issues will hopefully be solved by a combination of 2.0 and more sales.

I bought at full price but I still want RIM to cut the price. The more PBs out there the better for me.

I'd have been perfectly satisfied with my PlayBook as what it is if I hadn't been told it would be something else. Right now for me it's a web browser and hand held video game system. Which is fine. But the fact I've had a year's worth of lies shoved in my face is what makes me sad. The fact people can pick it up now for a huge discount is just kicking sand in my face.

I still love my PlayBook, but I'm a lil angry with RIM.

I have the Playbook 64gb and love what it COULD be, but it ain't there yet. In fact, my Playbook experience is starting to feel like deja-vu. I bought the Nokia N810 early on and had high hopes for it, too, but it was left to languish in no-software-update orphan-product hell. I hope that PB 2.0 is great and that my $699 device doesn't become a paperweight or fancy alarm clock, but my opinion of RIM has definitely suffered this past year.

Bias aside, i'd have to give the PlayBook an uncertain 4 out of 5 rating. The reason it's not a 3 out of 5, is because everytime i use my playbook, it screams potential. The device is incredible, and everything it does do, it does very well. Yes the browser isn't perfect, but damn good, and yes the apps aren't there, but there are some exceptional ones around. The screen isn't big, but wow is it good. The texture and feel to the device is exactly what any hand-held should feel like, it's ergonomic, and comfortable. The bridge works very well, and without flaw, but a few more features could exist here.

Anyway's, i think an optimistic 4 out of 5 is fair for this device. Please bring 2.0 sooner than later, and seriously, bring everything with it. Enough waiting around for features we should have had. Enough with sites like BGR and Gizmodo saying nasty things about the PlayBook because it doesn't have apps.

i love my playbook, im able to do the things that i bought it for very well, could things be better? yes. I'm very hopeful that Rim will get the playbook where it needs to be. its a very powerful and impressive machine as is though.

I can't wait to buy a Playbook if they actually give it all the functionality they said they would a year ago. But I think this has to be a wake up call for RIM, and for any other company that launches incomplete products. It's better to wait until it's finished than to push it out early. You gain nothing by doing the latter except piss off a lot of early adopters (your most IMPORTANT customers). Look at Amazon, how long they've waited to announce the Kindle tablet, and it's because the negative attention and pressure of talking about and/or releasing something incomplete completely outweighs the benefits of short term sales or media coverage.

Let's hope the QNX phones don't end up the same way. Here's to an amazing 2012 for RIM!

I LOVE my playbook!!! I'm just hoping and praying that kindle & netflix (or silverlight) make it one of these days. (cloud reader is ok...but would prefer an actual kindle app).

When i read the negative comments about the PB, to be honest, i really don't understand why!! I've handled the iPad before and i just couldn't understand what the hype was all about. There's something about the way the PB feels, something about the way the OS flows, even with so many bugs i've been experiencing, i just can't understand why its not loved by everyone.

The OS update for me will just be an added bonus, i'm thinking what could possibly make me love this device anymore? It's integrated into my life in less than 2 weeks of ownership, i'm always touching the damn thing can't get my hands off it!!

I love my PlayBook. Granted, there are some serious weaknesses including missing apps and functionality such as Netflix, Skype, Email, etc.
I'm a little bit upset with the price cuts cause I feel I overpaid. But then I remember that early adoptors will always pay more upfront. And that's the price of being one. After getting that out of the way, I'm glad the PlayBook has had its prices slashed. Why? Because if it helps it increase market penetration, then there will be a lot more people who realize it's greatness and great potential. Which then leads to more support from developers and RIM itself!

Live on and Fight on, Playbook.

My wife and I love our Playbooks. Honestly, we use it all the time and my wife, a huge apple fan, said she was glad we got the Playbook instead because of the size. It is super portable.
We video chat regularly and use Facebook all the time.
I learned I can open client accounts with the web-browser and we both love the web experience and the gestures.


I believe this vastly superior hardware is lacking content. If Mike L. delivers on content with BB Movies and the android player we will rate it 5 out of 5 starts. However, currently we can only give it 4 out of 5.

I don't get upset about the price drop. I purchased them on day one and did not care. The drop is going to make several family members happy though. I'm buying 2 Playbooks for what I could get 1 iPad. Christmas is coming and I'm going to load up on PB. I think I'll pick-up three more.

RIM, we stuck with you through much tougher times and I see you coming out of it and getting us even better stuff. However, what you did with the OS7 Bold 9930 just blows me away. I'm with RIM.
Here's to an amazing 2012 for all of us Crackberry fans!

I love my Playbook in it's current form and can't wait for OS 2.0 to make it even better. As a programmer, I understand things take time to bring to market. Design, developing, politics, testing, etc. The progress over the last year has been steady, and it's definitely moving in a good direction.

Hi @andrewmcwhirter,

Alex from RIM here. I really appreciate your support for the PlayBook and the Tablet OS platform. Ditto to the other commenters here for taking the time to share their suggestions and constructive criticism.

We’re committed to working with developers like yourself to make the PlayBook and Tablet OS experience even better, and we think you’re really going to like what’s coming down the pipeline. In the meantime, be sure to keep up with all the latest BlackBerry news and announcements on our Inside BlackBerry Blog:

Alex, RIM Social Media Team

Happy Anniversary @BlackBerry PlayBook hop you doing fine and i hope soon you give us a present of 2.0V Update.

Love You Lots!!! (not as much as my GF but enough to handle both of you)

Whenever me and my girlfriend go into an apple store, I always swipe the bezel of the iPad, and then realize "Oh yeah, this piece of crap doesn't have real multitasking".

I love my playbook, I doubt I'll ever use native email. I would also like to see Skype, but what's the point in asking anymore? (Plus, hopefully we'll get it via android app player)

I love my playbook, and I in no way regret buying it.

Although: a couple thoughts for improvement of the operating system:

- I don't know if it's just me, but when I scroll on the internet I tend to press a link by accident every now and then. I'd like to see the ability to swipe along the bezel as a function for scrolling.
- I would like to see the ability to connect to stereo bluetooth headsets. It seems rpetty ridiculous that this device is missing this option.
- an option for blackberry bridge that allows you to amalgamate the information on both (i.e. be able to play songs through your playbook that are on your phone, be able to save attachments from your bb email onto your playbook.) but also an option to disallow this, for security reasons.
I have a couple, but I can't remember them right off the bat.

I hope that with the 2.0 update, RIM continues to improve the overall OS, rather than just adding in what has been missing.

I also love my Playbook, and simply wish for more content. The QNX operating system is an absolute jewel. I will probably be buying a 2nd playbook in the not too distant future with the sales that have begun. I can't wait for the 2.0 update! :)

I think the Playbook has a ton of potential but i wouldn't say I love it but I want to.

I'm a developer and got my playbook by developing an app for it pre-release. However, I wouldn't have bought it myself and I wouldn't recommend anyone to buy one. Hopefully the OS 2.0 will change everything. I have my fingers crossed!

Hopefully 2.0 will make the PB a truly "BlackBerry Amplified" experience. Seriously, other than bridge, you could slap any logo on this tablet except an Apple logo. That has been the biggest disapointment to me. I don't feel like I'm using a BlackBerry when I pick up the PlayBook.

I've been a power user of BB products on the Verizon system for five or six years now and with all of the pros and cons associated with that fact I've never been less than satisfied with my RIM products and the BB ecosystem. That is until the PB- while the hardware is mostly perfect (form factor, processor, graphics engine and display, battery life, and the bridge functionality) the software's ability to integrate outside of itself is pretty disappointing. Yes QNX is fantastic- the bezel gesture function is novel and useful, but there are so many quirks and so few highlights, coupled with a uninspiring withholding of the information most of us early adopters are holding our breath for (native email please and if Android market was going to be this far off couldn't you have just kept it to yourself until it was closer to reality?). I just can't help but feel that this is a 200 remote screen for my 9930 with a 350 surcharge for promised usefullness at an undisclosed time.

That means I've been waiting for well over a year to buy my first tablet -- still want it to be a BlackBerry product, still waiting for the native apps to drop. Faintly stunned that RIM has yet to pursue adapting it to industry verticals, by gathering use cases and designing apps to fit with the workflow of sales forces, studio musicians, car commuters, financial analysts, network engineers, whomever. Not sure the PlayBook will ever go big if RIM doesn't.

I'm waiting to buy one. The only real downside to me has been the negative bloggers. They shredded the PB to fill their quota of articles. They have not deterred me and I think they'll eventually pull a 180 and jump onboard.

One year... and yet to be released in Brasil.

Shame. I can buy iPads in the supermarket, but I can't find a single PlayBook through official channels.

Go to a BestBuy... They usually have one, although usually with dust on it... Hopefully it's turned on; often they're not...

I love my Playbook, I use it every day. My big beef is that OS2 is months late - the contents were promised for the summer. I am not happy about the massive price cuts either but as an early adopter, I guess you take your chances there.

I want to see RIM deliver with Playbook - I hope OS2 is a new begining for the tab after a very sleepy summer!!

$299 is an attractive price that I'm considering. In fact, had I not scooped a $100 Touchpad, I would have most likely jumped on a Playbook already. I'm now waiting until Christmas to get one (hopefully they're still to be had!). I'm also hoping that the new software is great and app development comes on strong, because let's face it, without the Dev's on board, it's not going anywhere.
STILL cheering on the Playbook and really want it to thrive and make all of the negative reviewers eat crow! ;)

I love my Playbook. I readily admit it lacks A LOT of functionality (i.e. apps), but it has Facebook (in fact, one of the best Facebook mobile apps on the market IMHO) Twitter (Blaq) and a top notch wicked fast browser.

I also LOVE the portability of the Playbook ,and the hardware is top notch. The volume is much louder and crisper than my iPad2 or the Touchpad I returned (I felt beats audio was totally over-hyped) . I think that playing a movie would be awesome, if I could figure out how to get them loaded on the device.

After using for a while, I get a little bummed because I realize the POTENTIAL of this great device. It really is awesome!

Give it a 3 out of 5, and will re-evaluate after 2.0 is installed.

Do you Guys and Gals think that Rim should offier invites to the launch of the BB Playbook 2.0 by using the video chat feature. that would be very cool. maybe some should pitch it to Kevin and see if he can pull some strings.

That is an awesome idea. +1

I love my Playbook. The second one (32 GB) is in the mail arriving today. My wife will get my "old" 16 GB. Defnitely looking forward to the extra space. Will put more movies on it.

To another poster about loading movies. I use Daniusoft DVD Ripper. I just rip movies that I own. Don't do rentals, that is illegal ;)

It is an easy way to get movies you like on to your computer/tablet/phone. Takes a little while, but you can rip them while you sleep.

Let's just hope OS2.0 delivers what we were told we would get over the summer. Kevin is obviously trolling because he said that disappointment has been part of the Playbook experience so far. You will have people angry with you in the Playbook forum because statements like this are not allowed.

WOW these comments got me all tear eyed. LMAO where are all the haters at. Glad to see my fellow crackberriers sticking together.. I am totally getting one with the price cuts. As soon as 2.0 rolls out.. :)

Haha +1

Although I would said I hate RIM management more than RIM.

Wacthing that video brought to mind two sad things
(1) That clip was better than any of the advertising for the PB.
(2)We were all really full of hope that this would be a serious iPad contentder. I recall telling people how great this was going to be. I think when the QNX phone is demoed at Devcon you will not see the same reaction. Once burned, twice shy (but hopeful).

So funny. !

A year ago today, a failure and a dissapoitment was announced
Took monthssssssssssss for it to be released and RIM. Fed the early adopters witth lies (60 days lie )

Expect a firesale soon

Actually I really like my playbook it goes everywhere with me. I have access to my email all the time on it and unless I am in a really bad coverage zone I have internet access at all times. The supposed need for a 3G version with native email only gives me the ability to pay for what I now get for free. I know the doubters say but you have to have your cell phone with you, really anybody out there know somebody who does not carry their cell phone at all times. I even use mine as my alarm clock it never leaves my side. Now about the shortage of apps lets be honest there are about 20 diferent types of app, so if you need 300,000 apps were do you store them and how many are duplicates. I looked at my playbook and I have 90 apps loaded and I dont use most of them. Lets stop listening to the imorons, these people are now looking forward to iphone 5 hopefully the antenna will work on this one 5 tries should be enough for anybody, you never know ipad 3 might even show the real internet, and just for one last comment ever seen somebody taking photos with an ipad thats so sad.

I'm still baffled with the bomb in sales for the PB, it may not have a million apps, it's backed by a company that doesn't know how to keep track of time, it can't fix our spelling mistakes because we didn't pay attention in school, and it sure as h€ll won't be sending any e-mails for another month. But still I find it to be a great tablet, and have no regrets for buying it.

While most keep waiting for OS 2.0, I'll keep making sweet lemonade with the little lemon I bought from RIM!

I love my PB, but I wish they would have kept their promises.

The apps for this are terrible. For a "business" device there are no business apps. no skype, no go to meeting etc.

I am looking forward to 2.0

I'm happy to see all the Playbook lovers. I just hope that the update will be worth it and that they will keep their eyes on their greatest competition which is RIM. I'm always saying that marketing has been the greatest weakness. I'm looking forward to the 2.0 update but how many of you have the 99xx and Playbook combination? Can you imagine if we can get those two in people's hands? If RIM can stay as inovative as when they first started and ADVERTISE then.....well game over. Like I said, there is no need to beat Apple but hands down all our bbm contacts will be filled with believers again.

P.S. I love my Playbook and look forward to buying the 64gig one.

P.S. 2 everybody do your part and try to send a message to those contacts on bbm that you haven't spoken to in a while to keep the desire going of keeping BB.

I love my Playbook as is and I doubt if I will ever use a native email on it because I am so much spoiled by the bridge feature. The QNX OS , browser, bridge, hardware and built are top notch. I will probably get a 10 incher if RIM releases one during the devcon. Also the bezel gestures are a killer feature and I am so spoiled by this feature that I automatically tend to swipe the bezel even on the devices that won't support it. Hoping 2.0 will bring more goodies and as is some features in 1.0 already exceeds the competition like:

1) True Multitasking
2) Ability to download and upload files to the internet via browser like a PC
3) OTA - Over the Air updates
4) Best Adobe Flash performance to date on a mobile device
5) Full web fidelity browser
6) Presentation Mode - Ability to present something on a large screen TV connected via HDMI cable and then at the sametime play something else on the playbook
7) Bezel Gestures
8) Blackberry Bridge - providing 3G/4G access in no WIFI zone

I love my PB.....I do not see why everyone is saying that RIM is lying and false this and that.....I wonder if they would of waited for x amount of months to bring it out with all the things that people are wanting and it did not do good, would people still bash it? I mean come on, we all did our homework before(well I know I did, I knew want I was buying) buying it....I just do not get why everyone is so bend out of shape about native this and native that, all the other tablets that have native this and native that are also lacking in other things that the PB has, so to me its a catch 22, you either deal with it or just don't get it at all....go out and get another tablet that has native things on it and deal with it issues....I wonder if anyone is going to bash Amazon when they come out with their tablet tomorrow, the one that looks just like a PlayBook (actually the same manufacturer who made the Playbook design is making it for Amazon also), they are saying that Amazon should wait and from day one it not going to be as good as the PB.....interesting.....

As far as the PlayBook, this thing rocks, I don't have to have a native email or anything like that in order to enjoy the thing, aint that what my phone is for? I love the capabilities of having my 9850 bridge into a bigger screen, this was a deal breaker for me when I first got the PB along with my Storm 2. I cannot wait till 2.0 comes out because then it will just make the PB better, only I hope is that with the arrival of 2.0 and the ability to get more apps and stuff I hope it does not take away from the functionality of the PB.....I will hate to see it not work properly because of demand for more app support(android apps that is)....

I love my PB, and I am thinking about purchasing another one for my yeah I have not regretted purchasing my PB one bit......

just my two cents.....just saying....

I had to use an iPad (which is only an overgrown iPod....a toy) until I upgraded my phones to 9810's.....then I bought a you couldn't rip it from my hands.
Love everything about can't wait until the upgrade 2.
Would I give it back.......NO!
Is so much more than an iPad........even the iPad 2..........they are good for anyone who has the time to play nothing but games.
When it comes to having a tablet which works, as in WORKS....not a can't beat it.
Just hope others realize what they are missing, but then, it depends what they are using the tablet for.
Would still be nice to have native email.


Aside from bridge, Flash and jimmying around with the file system...what can you do on a PB that you can't do on an iPad?

Connect to your phone- unless you can connected to your iphone which this one I'm just throwing out there.

True mulittasking- Works great for presentations and video.

Type on it- Ipad too big

Flash support - you can't avoid it. It's huge.

Take pictures without looking like a tourist - need I say more?

And my favorite of all

Fits in your back pocket - Case closed

The most important is multitasking, or what I really mean is the quick switch between windows, show anyone with an iPad that and there no comeback.

The PlayBook was doomed from the start. It's because RIM is a product manufacturer, but knows little about developing the third-party ecosystem of a true platform... Their app development tools are a disgrace... And after a year, still no native e-mail! Are you kidding me? They were in over their heads from the start...

Incredibly, their co-CEOs are still in denial... After selling a truly pathetic 200,000 PlayBooks in the most recent quarter, they kept saying how 'excited' their customers were! Huh?

Sadly, PlayBook 2.0 will be too little, too late... RIM should kill it now before pouring more money down the drain...

Ahhh, you're a little upidy there Ken.

I don't disagree that RIM didn't do well on App development, but if it gets Android Apps then what's the biggy?

I'm not sure why I'd pick and android over the PB once PB has the apps? Clearly Android is a worse OS so...

I have a piece of advice for RIM. If it is at all technically possible they should build a virtual machine in the PlayBook than can run windows 8 effectively. This would make the PlayBook a must have item.

You asked how I would rate my RIM Blackberry Playbook experience. On a simple grading scale, I would give it a C+. It's like a very smart kid that you know can do much better, but isn't studying and is just getting by. Unfortunately, all the other kids are going to pass this youngster by in a few months.

I really like the size - I think they nailed that !

As much as I like BBM, no one I know uses its video-call - so not having Skype was a big dissapointment - and now after a year a big Negative ! I will never again buy a device until I can confirm Skype Video works.

Likewise, not thrilled with basic functions like the ability to copy/paste

Had my PB since day one. Love waking up in the morning to see new apps and updates made by devs. The approval process seems to have sped up, so they are coming even faster. I do wish theywould filter out some of the old apps and fix appworld (long load time, freezes PB). I haven't regretted my purchase at all. I know that RIM is never going to focus on pretty, just on functional.

I will be the first to admit: I was a defector. I bought a playbook to use in the field with my job but without a buit in calendar and email client, it was not useful. I took it back and traded for an iPad 2. Now four months later I am excited with the hope of software v2.0. I just ordered a ne playbook yesterday and plan to retire the iPad to the wife and kids for gaming. I still have faith that rim will come through on the "delayed" promises. The time is right, the price was right, and I have faith that 2.0 will save us. With v2.0 and some apps I fully believe that that the playbook can kick any tablets a$$ any day!

i've only had my PB for a week now but it is the best thing ever! I agree they should have been initially priced much cheaper to get it in as many hands as possible. My only pet peeve is why not include a screen protector, a good one. at these prices at least you could throw us a bone. i can't stand being nickeled and dimed. It is like buying a new car and getting a donut tire for a spare. hey i paid over $30000 for this car, i want a full sized spare! Anyway I got to show off my PB yesterday at a conference I attended on Monday. My boss was trying to show a friend this highlight from football on Sunday but he has a ifi only ipad. So I ripped out my PB and showed his friend the play in question. His friend really liked the PB and didn't remember hearing about the PB before but would remember now. No need to gloat in the boss's face, no reason to re-state the obvious.

I'm eagerly waiting for the updates but as it is today there is no tablet that suits my needs as well as the playbook or one I'd prefer to have & use.
Most people I show mine to had never heard of the playbook but are impressed when I run them through it.

Lazardis is such a terrible speaker. They need to find someone within the company (or hire someone) who can be a better face and spokesman for the company.

there are three things that stopped me from getting a playbook and that's not the android app player or native emails (though both are nice)

1. SD integration
2. USB HOST capabilities
3. SKYPE but I doubt that's ever coming now that Microsoft have their hands in it but who knows with office of some sort coming maybe it will?

okay there's a fourth but that due to size preference for a table - 8.9 inch size would be perfect as that the size of my netbook and love it.

Regarding the news of the playbook. I too thought it was a great day but I feel that their focus has changed a little and their priority is now on getting a QNX phone out there. I'm just hoping that with a QNX phone we'll also see it work seamlessly with a new updated Playbook.

I'm definitely looking forward to the 2.0 Update and hopefully we'll see some awesome improvements.

I am flat-out in love with my Playbook, my Storm2, and RIM in a way I haven't been in love with a computer company since 13 year old me fell in love with Commodore and the Commodore 64 much too late (summer of 1992).