QNX BlackBerry Tablet OS Still Very, Very Not Done

The BlackBerry PlayBook tablet is expected to be released sometime in early 2011—at least according to Research In Motion (RIM). RIM, who is developing the PlayBook tablet to compliment its BlackBerry smartphones decided to scrap its new BlackBerry OS 6 for the tablet and is using its recently acquired QNX Software Systems to build a unique BlackBerry Tablet OS. The only problem? No one has had a chance to use the tablet or the new OS.

RIM has been displaying prototypes of the PlayBook behind glasses and running demonstration videos on them. That’s all fine and dandy, but one of the demo units had some type of error and stopped playing its video. The result? Not exactly what the preview video promises. (Video at the bottom of the post.)

Think more like a barebones user interface of buttons to get the unit to play videos and run demos. Look at the picture. Yeah, there might be a reason why no one actually uses a BlackBerry PlayBook in the preview video.  Something makes me think that the whole video is based on artistic renderings of how RIM and QNX plan the tablet OS to look and not what has actually been finished.

Since there is no actual release date yet for the PlayBook, RIM has time to get everything up and running. The only problem is, Android OS is already complete and tablets are coming out that run it. The iPad and iOS are already out. RIM is playing a huge game of catchup and will have to launch a critical device—it’s only shot at the tablet market—with an untested operating system. Can RIM do it? Let’s keep our fingers crossed that there is something running behind the screen shot besides just a hacked together launcher.

Also, the BlackBerry PlayBook’s specs are stunning. Can RIM really deliver what it is promising for less than $700? The first model out will not have 3G or 4G data connectivity. That means it will not be subsidized by a carrier. $500 looks to be about the tablet pricing sweet spot and I’ll be surprised if RIM can put all the hardware it is promising into the tablet at that price without a carrier to help.

Tell me if you think I’m wrong in the comments. Is the QNX PlayBook OS really going to be ready around February for primetime? What kind of price tag will they slap on this?

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