We'll happily admit to being fans of the BlackBerry PlayBook, and we're looking forward to getting an enterprise-focused alternative to the iPad that isn't powered by Windows 7.
But RIM isn't making things easy for us. With Apple's new iPad 2 having been effortlessly lined up to launch worldwide before the end of the month, we're now being told the first PlayBooks will only be ready for launch on April 10.
RIM has been rather protective of its new slate since making it official way back in September last year. And it seems it's that old bugbear of a long-winded announcement-to-launch cycle that's struck again, as the PlayBook, quite simply, isn't ready yet.
The April 10 launch date arrives courtesy of BGR, which quotes “multiple sources” on the matter. The QNX operating system is set to go Gold Master (the final stage before going live) on March 31, and initial PlayBook stock will apparently be prompted to upgrade immediately right out of the box.
Sadly, it's a far cry from Apple's slick and seasoned approach to the ownership experience. The iPad 2 and its iOS 4.3 operating system were announced yesterday, and will be in customers' hands a month from now. It's that simple.
It takes us back to comments a month or so ago by an independent analyst saying the PlayBook would be “dead on arrival”. It seemed harsh at the time, but now we're not so sure. After all, with that April 10 launch likely only in the US, we're wondering why just that “arrival” should be so much to ask.