In a statement that surely interrupted someone’s winter holiday, RIM yesterday qualified the earlier report by Kaufman Brothers analyst Shaw Wu that the BlackBerry PlayBook could be delayed while they sort out battery life issues. But did they they share anything new?
The statement (by way of Forbes) reads:
Any testing or observation of battery life to date by anyone outside of RIM would have been performed using pre-beta units that were built without power management implemented. 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.
Of course, they have yet to announce a solid release date beyond an expectation that revenues will impact their first quarter of their next fiscal year, which starts in March 2011. That gives them a three-month window to stay on the publicly acknowledged schedule. It could ship between March and May and still be on schedule. Even then, they only expect revenues to be realized in the first quarter. Their schedule could allow for later release.
They specify the observed devices would have been pre-beta units, but I don’t think any reasonable tech observer assumed otherwise. The testing, as far as I know, has remained in-house with the developers, i.e., not in beta stage yet. Thus, their statement does not actually refute the earlier report, but instead acknowledges that everything is cool and they are on top of it (though no one thought they weren’t).