BlackBerry is now confirming that there is no BlackBerry 10 PlayBook update coming to users of the company’s first tablet
The decision was announced by BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins this morning on an investors call following the release of the company’s quarterly earnings figures. Unfortunately, Heins didn’t offer any explanation for why BlackBerry Playbook users weren’t getting the update.
Until now it had been understood that those who purchased the tablet would be able to download an update that would bring them inline with BlackBerry’s latest operating system. Earlier this year Heins himself confirmed that the BlackBerry Playbook would be getting an update to BlackBerry 10, though he didn’t offer any details on when.
Now that a BlackBerry 10 Playbook update isn’t in the cards, users of the tablet will have to be content with the operating system the device is running now. While BlackBerry QNX was a relatively modern operating system when it launched with the BlackBerry Playbook back in 2011, it’s since languished due to a lack of updates.
Though the BlackBerry 10 operating system is built on the roots of the BlackBerry QNX operating system, it introduces a huge amount of new features that are designed to make life for BlackBerry device owners easier. For example, BlackBerry Hub puts the email, appoints, and social network updates of users in one place to easily find.
Today’s announcement likely puts the nail in the coffin for any tablets running BlackBerry 10. Heins had already made it clear that the company no longer believed that making tablets was a sound decision from a “cost to profit” standpoint.
That’s a shame since a BlackBerry 10 Playbook update might have also helped BlackBerry compete with Apple’s iPhone, Google’s Android and Microsoft’s Windows Phone. A huge part of those platforms’ selling point is that users can extend their experience with companion tablets. If BlackBerry can’t offer this, that’s one less reason for users to choose it’s smartphones and the BlackBerry 10 operating system over the others.
Currently, BlackBerry 10 is available on just two devices, the BlackBerry Z10 and the QWERTY-keyboard laden BlackBerry Q10. BlackBerry plans to make another device with a keyboard, the BlackBerry Q5, available to users in developing nations sometime this year.