Research in Motion: PlayBook Update Delayed, Still No Messenger

Waterloo, Ontario CANADA: Research In Motion quietly told investors and customers via its blog that it'll be February before it upgrades its PlayBook tablet computer system software — way behind schedule. And even then, it still won't have BlackBerry Messenger.

The latter renders it all but useless to BlackBerry smartphone owners.

At this writing, RIM shares had dropped 8 percent from morning's start of trading.

BlackBerry Messenger — the email, contact and calendar system millions of BlackBerry smartphone users rely on — was supposed to be on the PlayBook by the end of June. The beleaguered Canadian firm has been pushing that date steadily back, giving customers (especially enterprise customers, many of whom are forced to use the BlackBerry) very little reason to choose the PlayBook tablet from RIM over any other.

RIM's official blog late Tuesday bore the bad news, just hours before Nokia announced its Windows Phone 7.5 Mango based Lumia series smartphones in London. On the blog, senior vp David Smith wrote:

We've made the difficult decision to wait to launch BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 until we are confident we have fully met the expectations of our developers, enterprise customers and end-users.

More to come on what this means to RIM customers and investors. Certainly it means RIM will continue to suffer as its stock value steadily declines and annoyed customers jump addressed.