RIM sees PlayBook OS as 10-year future for smartphones, tablets
Lazaridis discussed the BlackBerry maker's plans Tuesday with Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher at the D: Dive Into Mobile conference in San Francisco, Calif., All Things Digital reports.
To kick off the onstage interview, Lazaridis showed off the upcoming PlayBook tablet, which he called "the perfect size." When questioned by Mossberg whether RIM is working on any other sizes, Lazaridis acknowledged the company's plans for different sizes.
Lazaridis emphasized that RIM is betting heavily on the PlayBook and its BlackBerry Tablet OS. "This is a complete mobile computing platform," said Lazaridis. "All of this is coming together to set up BlackBerry for the next decade."
According to Lazaridis, the 7-inch PlayBook, which RIM unveiled in September, is still "tracking" for a first quarter launch.
As RIM's smartphones begin to include multi-core processors, "they'll all be running the Playbook platform," said Lazaridis, who believes the PlayBook OS will help RIM "jump into the next decade of mobile computing."
When questioned whether RIM was leaving behind BlackBerry phones by moving ahead with next generation technology in tablets, Lazaridis emphasized RIM's global strategy. RIM won't abandon developing markets that have yet to reach 3G or 4G and can't afford high-end stuff, he explained.
Lazaridis also claimed during the interview that the BlackBerry began appealing to consumers by itself. "We didn't go out and try to make BlackBerry a consumer device. It crossed over on its own," he said.
RIM and Apple's strategies differ, according to Lazaridis. Apple is trying to upgrade a mobile phone OS for tablets, while RIM is starting with a "bona-fide mobile computing platform" for tablets, he asserted.
Referencing the iPad's lack of Adobe Flash compatibility, Lazaridis asked, "Why would you limit yourself?" In November, RIM posted a comparison video between the iPad and the PlayBook, touting the PlayBook's ability to run Flash.
The competition between Apple and RIM has increased as RIM prepares to enter the tablet market, in which Apple has taken a substantial early lead.
In October Apple CEO Steve Jobs asserted that many 7-inch tablets would be dead on arrival. RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie responded, claiming that "many customers are getting tired of being told what to think by Apple."