Clueless: RIM Releases The $120 BlackBerry PlayBook Mini Keyboard

Research In Motion announced the PlayBook 17 months ago. Then, eleven months ago, the company actually launched the product. It took them another 10 months to finally bring a native email and messaging app to the product. Now, almost a full year after the product hit stores, RIM is releasing a keyboard folio case for the struggling tablet. Oh, and it costs $120.

I’m fully convinced Research in Motion is stuck in some sort of time warp where hours equal days and days equal months. It’s the only logical explanation regarding the company’s product release cycle. That or RIM is run by ignorant executives that spend more time on the golf course than in the office. Maybe both.

The Playbook is a quality product ruined by an incompetent company. It feels great in the hand and the OS is actually pretty slick. But RIM clearly didn’t throw the proper resources behind the product’s development. It should have launched with apps that users expect from a BlackBerry device: email, messaging and calendar. Instead, RIM took its merry time to develop these key applications and just recently pushed them to the device. The tablet’s launch could have also benefited from a large offering of accessories including the keyboard folio that was just announced. It’s not like the idea of a keyboard case is novel. These sort of cases were around back when RIM announced the Playbook in 2010.

I’m sure the new keyboard case works well. RIM makes quality, but often overpriced, hardware. The company just doesn’t know how to launch them in a timely manner.