RIM execs explain poor PlayBook sales

Rim has acknowledged the two main reasons for poor BlackBerry PlayBook sales at the company’s Devcon event in San Francisco.

"The number one reason the PlayBook hasn't sold as well as we expected is the lack of a native email client, the number two reason is there aren't enough apps," Alec Saunders, VP of developer relations and ecosystem development at Research In Motion, told Pocket-lint and other journalists in a discussion about Android apps on the PlayBook.

The company has said it is addressing both problems with the new BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 update due out in the coming months.

In the update, which was promised for the summer but yet to materialise, users will be able to run Android apps that have been ported across to the PlayBook operating system by developers keen to expand beyond the Google operating system.

What isn’t known, however, is the number of Android apps that will be available, what those apps will be, or even when the new service will go live. Saunders and Christopher Smith, senior director of BlackBerry development platform, seemed to be playing coy over adoption numbers and release dates when we questioned them.

As to what Google thinks about the move to allow Android developers the chance to create apps for the PlayBook, Saunders and Smith said they didn’t know, admitting that they "aren't having meetings with Google at all."

What they did confirm however, was that the Android player in the PlayBook OS 2.0 will just work, and that end users won’t know whether any given app is of the Android variety - when they download an app from the App World - until the Android Player launches.

"The apps will automatically appear in the App World as the PlayBook will automatically know what you can and can't run," confirmed Smith.

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