O2 UK shuns RIM's Playbook, blames poor customer experience

As Research In Motion struggles to handle growing concerns about its future prospects, what it least needed was O2 UK deciding not to offer the vendor's Playbook tablet. The operator has informed subscribers interested in RIM's 7-inch tablet that it will not be selling the device due to problems with "the end to end customer experience," according to the blog Engadget.

Click here for a look at the history of the PlayBook.

While O2 UK has confirmed that it might offer the Playbook tablet in the future, it has a track-record of rejecting handsets, as seen with the Sony Ericsson's Xperia Play, when it encountered software issues during qualification tests.

Although O2 UK hasn't provided details of the problems it came across with the Playbook, UK reviewers of the device have already criticised the tablet due to the need to pair it with a BlackBerry handset via Bluetooth in order to access email and calendar services. RIM has said it plans to add a native clients to the device in the coming months via a software update. 

Tablets that are less restricted in connection capabilities, according to tablet pundits, include the Motorola Xoom, iPad 2, HTC Flyer and the lower cost Galaxy Tab or Galaxy Tab 8.9.

Regardless of this setback, RIM said it has already shipped 500,000 Playbooks since going on sale in the US in April, but did not confirm sales levels to end-users.

In an effort to stop the company from losing market share and improve profitability, RIM has announced a reduction in headcount, and promised an overhaul of its product portfolio later this year.

For more:
- see this Engadget article
- see this Daily Telegraph article

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