Is RIM's PlayBook Worth Waiting for?

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When was the last time Research In Motion (NAS: RIMM) had any good news to announce? This isn't just a rhetorical question; I actually can't remember. The only remotely positive news of late was when shareholders demanded changes, if you can consider that positive.

The latest addition to the company's string of negative announcements is that its PlayBook OS 2.0 is seeing continued unexpected delays and won't see the light of day until February of next year. The PlayBook has been the poster child of RIM's ineptitude, and the news only prolongs that perception. We're talking about a tablet that, while meant for the company's core business and enterprise users, doesn't havenative email, contacts, or calendar apps.

The 2.0 version is set to include those critical apps, but the company has changed its tune with its popular BlackBerry Messenger app and won't be included until future releases. So the handful of PlayBook owners who bought the tablet when launched it in April will have to wait a full 10 months for basic productivity apps. That's assuming the OS isn't delayed again.

RIM had initially promised those basic features within two months of release before pushing the time frame back to October, and now February is the date to mark on your calendar -- which you can't do on the PlayBook.

The company recently announced its ambitious new unified BBX operating system alongside a PlayBook OS 2.0 beta that includes Google (NAS: GOOG) Android support, only to get slapped with a trademark infringement suit. This came shortly after its worst service outage in the company's history.

By February, chances are Apple (NAS: AAPL) will be arming its iPad 3 for battle, and Amazon.com (NAS: AMZN) may also be lighting up a Kindle Fire 2 in that time frame.

Sorry, RIM, but your ship has sailed. Your PlayBook just isn't worth waiting for.

At the time this article was published Fool contributor Evan Niu owns shares of Amazon.com and Apple, but he holds no other position in any company mentioned. Click here to see his holdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple and Google. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Apple, Google, and Amazon.com. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a bull call spread position in Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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