A leaked RIM document has revealed that the company’s forthcoming iPad rival, the BlackBerry PlayBook will ship without native app support for email, contacts and messaging. Instead, users will have to pair the tablet with a BlackBerry smartphone via Bluetooth to access the data, or view it through a web browser.
Here’s the revealing passage from the document:
Q: Will apps such as email, contacts, calendar etc. be available natively on BlackBerry PlayBook?
The Blackberry PlayBook can be used in conjunction with a BlackBerry smartphone or it can be used on its own (i.e. standalone). The BlackBerry Bridge feature creates a secure Bluetooth link between a BlackBerry PlayBook tablet and BlackBerry smartphone allowing BlackBerry smartphone users to view and interact with the email, BBM and PIM apps on their Blackberry smartphone using the larger BlackBerry PlayBook screen.
In addition, users can access their email via the BlackBerry PlayBook’s web browser without any need for a BlackBerry smartphone. In a future softeare update for the BlackBerry PlayBook, we will also provide native email, calendar and contact apps for those customers who prefer to have these apps directly on the tablet.
It’s good to hear RIM already have an update planned to add the missing functionality, but it’s already giving the PlayBook an Achilles Heel for the loyal Apple fans to point their arrows at before the tablet has even launched.