Research In Motion's co-CEO Mike Lazaridis told Walter Mossberg that he thinks RIM's seven-inch tablet is the "perfect size," but RIM still plans to build tablets with different dimensions.

Eric Zeman, Contributor

December 8, 2010

2 Min Read

AllThingsD's "Dive Into Mobile" conference in San Francisco has provided a wealth of information from some of the mobile industry's top C-level executives. On Tuesday night, it was Mike Lazaridis' turn to share the stage with the Wall Street Journal's Walter Mossberg and Kara Swisher. Both grilled Lazaridis about RIM's tablet, smartphones and future plans.

The conversation started off with the PlayBook, which Lazaridis brought with him. Lazaridis demonstrated how the PlayBook works, showed off its HD video playback capabilities, multitasking and more. When asked why go with a seven-inch screen, Lazaridis replied, "It's just the perfect size." He admitted, when prodded, that RIM is also working to develop different sized tablets, but he didn't specify what sizes.

By way of comparison, Apple's iPad has a 9.7-inch display, Samsung's Galaxy Tab has a seven-inch display, and Motorola claims it has both seven- and 10-inch tablets in the works. I think it's fair to guess that RIM is looking at a 10-inch tablet in addition to its seven-inch PlayBook.

Of Apple's early success with the iPad (despite its lack of Flash), Lazaridis told Mossberg that the tablet market is in the "really early days." He said that Apple and Google are stuffing a mobile phone OS into a tablet. Instead of taking that approach, RIM is developing a whole new OS from scratch for its tablet platform.

Lazaridis confirmed that the PlayBook is on schedule to launch during the first quarter of 2011. "This is a complete mobile computing platform," he noted. "We're all using Flash on our PCs. We're all using Flash on our Macs. Why wouldn't we expect Flash to run our tablet….There's all this content out there. Why would you limit yourself?" Lazaridis claims that PlayBook OS will allow RIM to "jump into the next decade of mobile computing."

That includes transitioning RIM's line of smartphones to the QNX- and Flash-based mobile OS. Lazaridis was unclear about when that might happen, but noted that BlackBerries will run PlayBook OS once they have "multiple core processors." Mossberg didn't point out to Lazaridis that it is taking the opposite approach when compared to Apple and Google -- it plans to stuff a tablet OS into a phone, instead of stuff a phone OS into a tablet.

Is one tactic really better than the other?

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About the Author(s)

Eric Zeman


Eric is a freelance writer for InformationWeek specializing in mobile technologies.

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