Tuesday, January 4, 2011

More bad news about RIM's Playbook battery?

There has been a bit of a back and forth between Kaufman Brother's analyst Shaw Wu and Research in Motion about RIM's upcoming tablet the Playbook. Earlier Wu had indicated that he believed that there were problems about the battery life of the Playbook saying that it might be inferior to Samsung Tab's 6 hours or the iPad's long 10 hours which netted a quick reply from RIM co-CEO Jim Basille who said that "RIM is on track with its schedule to optimize the BlackBerry PlayBook’s battery life and looks forward to providing customers with a professional grade tablet that offers superior performance with comparable battery life" (Read more on this at CultofMac). Basille indicated that any conclusions drawn by analysts were inaccurate as they were based on early prototypes without optimized power management. 

According to AppleInsider Shaw Wu issued another note to investors this week that re-emphasized the Playbooks battery problems.

That his industry sources have indicated that RIM continues to experience major issues in developing its forthcoming PlayBook tablet, intended to take on Apple's iPad. He said he would be "very surprised" if the PlayBook manages to match the battery life of the iPad without using a larger battery. 
Another potential problem noted by Wu is Adobe Flash, which he said could be a major factor in the battery life of the PlayBook. He noted that back in November, tests discovered that the new MacBook Air had its battery life significantly reduced when Adobe Flash was installed.
Wu claims is sources indicated the "best" the PlayBook could hope for is to match the six hours of battery life offered by the Samsung Galaxy Tab, an Android-based device that launched last November. And even that would require "significant engineering," 
"The reason is that QNX wasn't originally designed for low-powered mobile environments but rather devices plugged into a wall socket (like networking equipment) or a car battery (like automobile control systems and stereos)," 

I already had doubts about QNX power consumption when in an interview on AllthingsD in December 2010 the other RIM co-CEO Lazaridis hinted (in a rather confusing interview) that QNX was not suited for phones. An interesting take on that interview is on RoughlyDrafted "RIM CEO offers unintelligible look at BlackBerry OS, PlayBook future"