I think RIM has been very confused with regard to its target audience. This has been the case with their phones and, now, also with the Playbook. With the phones they lucked out, and ended up having their corporate-targeted phones appeal to general consumers as well (without actually having to do anything to make this so). The problem was that their lineup became stagnant, while others advanced (iPhone, Android devices) and RIM lost the consumer market share.
Originally Posted by sinsin07
With the Playbook they decided to stick with targeting the enterprise user who, presumably, already has a Blackberry phone for email, contacts, calendar, etc. Then they wondered why the Playbook wasn't selling in greater numbers than it was. By excluding apps for those functions and expecting people to link blackberry phones to the Playbook to enable those functions they really put the playbook in a position with very limited appeal to non-blackberry owners, and very limited room for growth (since it only appealed to current blackberry owners). That's where the mistake was made. They hoped that the enterprise user would buy it to go along with his/her blackberry phone, and that the general consumer would buy it in addition to coming back to blackberry for phones. They hoped that they could still charge the blackberry premium as well. They overestimated the appeal of their present phone lineup. Regular consumers aren't as drawn to blackberry phones, anymore (iPhones and Android phones are the new sexy), and they definitely weren't drawn to a tablet that would 'force' them to buy a phone that they didn't want.
The 2.0 update to be released for the Playbook this month (some say in two weeks) is aimed at removing its current limitations; the price drop is aimed at generating buzz and getting more units in consumers' hands just before the update, IMO.
If you try the Playbook out (and not just a several minute test at the local best buy) then you'll probably be surprised at how good it actually is. I saw and read reviews and wondered how they could possibly think it a better tablet than the TouchPad. I was certain that CNET, for example, was just being ridiculous. I ended up buying one because of the price reduction and in anticipation of the upcoming update. After one day of use, I'm convinced that it's a better tablet for my needs than is my TouchPad or Transformer, my wife's iPad or my previous iPad2.
As for porting WebOS to the PlayBook, there would really be no point other than to get access to some App Catalog apps. QNX is *very* similar to WebOS in how it works, but is faster and more polished. The only thing that would be nice to have from WebOS is the notification system and drop-down wifi/bluetooth/brightness adjustment panel; who knows if something similar is in store with the 2.0 update? We'll just have to wait and see.
For now, though, I'm enjoying having choices, and my current choice is the Playbook, warts and all. QNX + web browser-based calendar and mail access (Google) is still better for what I do than the TouchPad has been, but everybody's requirements are different.
I'm just saying be objective and open-minded. I was, and was pleasantly surprised, hence my post about my experience with the device thus far. I see it only getting better post-update.