Analyst: RIM Faces PlayBook Tablet Battery Issues

Analyst: RIM Faces PlayBook Tablet Battery Issues

Research In Motion’s PlayBook tablet is having trouble competing with the iPad’s 10-hour battery lifespan, an analyst told investors Tuesday. The delay is likely the cause of the Ontario-based RIM pushing back the PlayBook’s first-quarter of 2011 introduction until May.

Unlike the iPad’s 10-hours and the Samsung Galaxy Tab’s 6-hour lifespan, the PlayBook has a “relatively poor battery life of a few hours,” according to Shaw Wu of Kaufman Brothers. As a result, RIM’s tablet could “require a bit of re-engineering,” he added.

The battery issue may be the result of RIM’s use of the QNX operating system, not initially meant for mobile environments. However, RIM’s Jim Balsillie claimed earlier this month his company’s tablet was “way ahead” of the iPad.

Wu, who kept a “Hold” on RIM shares, still believes the iPad is the tablet to beat. “We are not convinced that tablets outside of the iPad will see high-volume success,” he writes. The analyst expects RIM to sell 700,000 PlayBook tablets in 2011, fewer than “public expectations” for between 1 million to 8 million units. The 700,000 figure for RIM is even less than the 1 million iPads Apple sold in just the first 28 days after the tablet’s launch.

A Wednesday report projects Apple will sell around 40 million iPads in 2011.


About the author

Ed SutherlandEd Sutherland is a veteran technology journalist who first heard of Apple when they grew on trees, Yahoo was run out of a Stanford dorm and Google was an unknown upstart. Since then, Sutherland has covered the whole technology landscape, concentrating on tracking the trends and figuring out the finances of large (and small) technology companies.

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