RIM suffers on PlayBook software stall
Montreal - Research In Motion took another hit on Wednesday as the BlackBerry maker delayed until February the release of a new version of the software powering its PlayBook tablet computers.
PlayBook OS 2.0 is seen as a chance to improve the PlayBook's appeal in the eyes of businesses devoted to the Canadian company's smartphones but increasingly tempted by hot Apple or Android mobile gadgets.
"As much as we'd love to have it in your hands today, we've made the difficult decision to wait to launch BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 until we are confident we have met the expectations of our developers, enterprise customers and end-users," tablet senior vice president David Smith said in a blog post.
The company added that it would not build a BBM text messaging feature into the new operating system as originally planned.
RIM stock price sank more than 5% on both the Nasdaq and Toronto exchanges at news that the eagerly-anticipated new operating system would not hit the market now as promised.
At a conference last week in San Francisco, RIM provided developers with PlayBook tablets powered by test versions of the new operating software so they could provide feedback.
RIM released a kit for software developers to make programmes for PlayBook devices as the company tries to tap into the importance of fun, hip or functional "apps" to the popularity of mobile gadgets.
PlayBook has lagged in the market since its release in April, while Apple has racked up blockbuster sales of iPad tablet computers.
The PlayBook software update aimed to integrate the company's touchstone e-mail, calendar and contact features, as well as enable the tablets to work better with BlackBerry smartphones.
"For the enterprise, we're addressing many barriers to tablet adoption, including device manageability and enterprise application deployment," Smith said.
Meanwhile, Apple has boasted that many major corporations are dabbling with letting workers use iPads on the job.