BlackBerry changes its tune, won’t update PlayBook to BB10


Et tu, BlackBerry?

The company that once promised a BlackBerry 10 update for its aging PlayBook tablet, which was released over two years ago, has reneged on the offer. According to CEO Thorsten Heins, the device just never felt right with the test versions of BlackBerry 10. The experience was not up to the company’s high standards. This is likely due to the older dual-core Cortex-A9 architecture of the 1Ghz Snapdragon chipset, along with the monumental task of having to re-engineer core aspects of the BlackBerry 10 experience.

Though Heins assured thousands of PlayBook owners in January that they would be able to anticipate an update to BlackBerry 10, it seems that the company wants to focus on the future, and tablets are not a part of that roadmap at the moment. Heins said that BlackBerry wants to have a maximum of six products on the market at one time, and there just isn’t room for a form factor — tablets, both small and large — that he thinks will not have a market in five years.

Disappointing news, indeed, for PlayBook owners still holding on to hope, but not all that surprising given the state of the company’s finances. Wanting to focus on what actually makes them money, and cleaning out the cruft in their lineup, is the first step to profitability.

Update: Here’s the full transcript of what Heins said during the call:
“Let me also make some comments on Playbook. Our teams have spent a great deal of time and energy looking at solutions that could move the Blackberry 10 experience to Playbook. But unfortunately, I am not satisfied with the level of performance and user experience, and I made the difficult decision to stop these efforts and focus on our core hardware portfolio. We will, however, support Playbook on the existing software platforms and configurations.”

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