RIM's Playbook the linchpin of a 10-year plan

The QNX software at the heart of Research In Motion's Playbook tablet represents its plan for the next decade, according to the company's co-CEO.

Research in Motion co-CEO Mike Lazaridis shows off the Playbook tablet on the sidelines of the D: Dive Into Mobile conference.
Research In Motion co-CEO Mike Lazaridis shows off the Playbook tablet on the sidelines of the D: Dive Into Mobile conference. Tom Krazit/CNET

SAN FRANCISCO--Research In Motion co-CEO Mike Lazaridis hopes the company's investment in its QNX software will carry the venerable smartphone company for the next decade.

Lazardis showed off the first fruits of that investment, the Playbook tablet , to attendees here at D: Dive Into Mobile today. RIM has taken the tablet--expected to arrive in the first quarter of 2011--for several test drives over the past few months but hoped to wow the Silicon Valley mobile elite with the QNX software on which it's betting the future of the company .

There's little doubt that RIM has lost a bit of respect along the Left Coast; although RIM is the largest tech company in Canada and a significant market share player around the world, as Lazaridis reminded hosts Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher multiple times, it's seen as a laggard against what Apple and Google have done with the iOS and Android operating systems. The CEO didn't exactly refute that analysis but suggested that by designing an operating system with a tablet first and foremost in mind, it might actually be able to get the drop on its South Bay competitors.

Lazaridis also made some interesting comments regarding the application of the old "megahertz myth" from the PC wars to the smartphone market, declaring that smartphones are on the cusp of a similar transition in which fast single-core processors are simply too hot and too power-hungry for future mobile devices. His competitor, Google's Andy Rubin, showed off an unannounced tablet geared for dual-core mobile processors on the first day of the conference, and based on Lazaridis' comments RIM believes that such a transition is imminent in the mobile space.

"All these pieces are coming together to set up BlackBerry for next decade," Lazaridis said. It's not clear whether he convinced anyone that RIM should be back in the favor of the digerati, but left a clear impression that RIM isn't ceding any ground in the race to build a mobile stronghold.

Lazaridis demonstrates the Playbook calculator as the official All Things D photographer records the moment.
Lazaridis demonstrates the Playbook calculator as the official All Things D photographer records the moment. Tom Krazit/CNET

About the author

    Tom Krazit writes about the ever-expanding world of Google, as the most prominent company on the Internet defends its search juggernaut while expanding into nearly anything it thinks possible. He has previously written about Apple, the traditional PC industry, and chip companies. E-mail Tom.

     

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