BlackBerry's native email application and instant messaging support are arguably they two key features to RIM’s success in the smartphone market. You'd think the company would leverage these strength with the release of their first ever tablet, the BlackBerry PlayBook, but apparently they won't even be present at launch.
According to a leaked internal document, as reported by Wired, the device will ship without native support for e-mail, contacts or messaging and those features will remain unavailable until a future software update. Instead, in order to actually write an email, for example, you would need to use web-based clients or connect your PlayBook tablet to a BlackBerry handset via a BlueTooth link program called BlackBerry Bridge.
Apparently the functionality is not ready for the new QNX-based operating system but RIM is pushing the release of the tablet anyway to get the sales rolling. The company is also not expected to have a 3G version of the PlayBook at launch, and has yet to finish the software development kit (SDK) that will allow developers to write native apps. On the upside, the company has revealed that its upcoming tablet will be able to run Android apps.
The PlayBook is slated to launch in the U.S. and Canada on April 19 with the Wi-Fi model that is launching initially priced at $499, $599, and $699 for 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB, respectively, right in line with the equivalent iPad 2 models.