PlayBook’s Growth is Generating Opportunities
How do you choose what mobile platform to support? Putting aside personal bias towards mobile devices is difficult. Most people are preferential to the mobile platform they use and enjoy every day, but that doesn’t mean that’s the right one for your application. While there are many factors in deciding what mobile platforms to support, one of the most important, that impacts every product and company is how many potential customers are there for your product? Never has that been better illustrated than with the BlackBerry PlayBook.
For all of 2011, there was virtually no interest from anyone we spoke to in supporting the PlayBook. It was easy to understand why. The market penetration of the PlayBook was low, the sales were underwhelming and no one was touting how amazing the downloads of their applications were on the platform. When there is no customer demand, a low volume of devices in the market, and few widely known case studies of successful applications on the platform, there was no reason to put it high on any company’s agenda.
2012 has been a much different story. When RIM discounted the price of the PlayBook in November 2011, they experienced a sales increase that massively changed the potential market and brought the visibility of the PlayBook to new heights. RIM recently announced that there were “over one million PlayBook customers” which implies that there have been over one million PlayBook’s sold — 500,000 of which happened in the early part of 2012. Instead of just seeing ads on TV but no one actually using one, now people were seeing PlayBooks used in “real life”. Gartner actually projects the PlayBook to rise to 10% of the overall Tablet market by 2015. That has changed the mindset of many companies that were outright dismissing PlayBook as a potential platform. In the last few months, almost weekly bitHeads has an existing or potential customer ask us about building them a PlayBook application. Do all of these expressions of interest pan out? Of course not, but last Fall there was virtually zero interest and no customers were starting conversations with us about the PlayBook, it was us asking them if they were interested.
- It’s not about perception or idealism, it’s about customers (bitheads.com)