Seriously. I probably own more Apple products than the average hardcore Apple fanboy, and despite being BlackBerry addict #1 still have a lot of respect for Apple and Steve Jobs. That dude is smart. But at the same time, I'm starting to think he's getting a little crotchety in his old age. Between antennagate and yesterday's Apple earnings call, El Jobso is making a habit out of really smack talking on the competition, which is a bit tactless and classless if you ask me (besides, that's what Smartphone Experts podcasts are for!).
If you missed what was said, jump on over to our sibling site TiPb.com for the blow by blow (Steve on Google's openness, Steve on RIM, Steve on 7" tablets, live earnings call notes). Long story short, Jobs said RIM is going to have to fundamentally reinvent themselves if they want to catch up to the momentum Apple and Google have. I don't disagree with that, but I do think QNX is that reinvention and the BlackBerry PlayBook is the first product of what I like to think of as the new RIM. But Steve even harped on the PlayBook (indirectly) by bashing all 7" tablets. Steve's argument is that while you may think a 7" tablet should offer 70% of the experience of a 10", it doesn't - it's more like 45% because of the diagonal measure. Steve says for a great app experience you need 10 inches, and that simply increasing resolution of a 7" tablet isn't the answer. Steve's conclusion on 7" tablets is that he feels they're all going to arrive DOA and that manufacturers will be learning the hard way that they need to make a 10" tablet for round 2. Why don't you tell us how you really feel, Steve? :)
While I don't disagree with Steve's logic on why a physically bigger screen is better, I do disagree in his thinking that a device like the PlayBook is doomed before it starts. I think RIM is doing a smart thing by labeling the the BlackBerry PlayBook as the first Professional Tablet. Put it this way - the only time my iPad leaves my house is when I'm traveling and going to be stuck on a plane for a few hours, because the thing is too big to carry around with me (not to mention I still feel like a douche bag to pull it out in public). With the PlayBook small enough to slide into my inside coat pocket, I think it'll get a lot more play. Don't get me wrong, I am a fan of the iPad, so I'm really curious and hopeful that the BlackBerry PlayBook delivers a compelling user experience. I have high expectations for what RIM had better deliver in the PlayBook.
Since when has RIM ever been about making only one form factor of product? RIM is all about choice. Just look at their lineup of form factors for BlackBerry Smartphones. With the PlayBook hardware finalized, wouldn't it be safe to assume RIM is already laying the design work for another tablet? Maybe a bigger one for consumers since the first one at 7" has been christened as a professional tablet? Doing the professional tablet first gives RIM time to build up their QNX app catalog, so it's full of apps for when a 10" PlayBook 2 (or whatever they call it) gets announced. It's not that RIM is making a mistake in building a 7" tablet. It's that they're starting off by differentiating themselves in a way that will allow them to carve out a niche and capitilize on their historical strengths, and from there will broaden out their product offering.
Anyways, vote where you stand on the size matters issue above, and sound off in the comments!