John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Analyst Impressed After Playing With PlayBook

Here’s one for the RIM bulls–an analyst note predicting a strong debut for the company’s forthcoming PlayBook tablet.

RBC’s Mike Abramsky (see update below) spent some hands-on time with the PlayBook at CES and came away impressed. Though he acknowledges that it comes with a fair bit of execution risk (new platform, new OS), Abramsky says, “RIM appears determined to get PlayBook right out of the gate.” And that includes getting its battery life competitive. Once it has managed that, the device’s other features may well set it apart from its rivals–or even raise the bar for them.

“Hands-on PlayBook demonstrations at CES showed its differentiation in multitasking and performance, which may be difficult for Apple/Android to rival,” Abramsky says. “RIM showed simultaneously running desktop/business applications, 3-D games, 1080p video, mobile desktop, Flash-based browsing, apps–possibly a unique advantage, if this experience becomes ‘table stakes’ for tablets.”

Interestingly, despite his bullish outlook, Abramsky’s looking for RIM to ship only between three million and six million PlayBooks in calendar 2011. That’s significantly lower than some estimates I’ve seen, which call for eight million to 10 million.

In the interview below, Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher grill RIM Co-CEO Mike Lazaridis about the PlayBook at D: Dive Into Mobile.

UPDATE: An important conflict disclosure I was unaware of and failed to note earlier. As pointed out in the comments below, Barbara Stymiest, Chief Operating Officer at RBC Financial Group, sits on RIM’s board of directors. RBC also makes a market in RIMM securities.