Stephen Bates, the UK managing director at RIM, was interviewed about a variety of topics including the PlayBook, social networking, NFC and more. Like most interviews with a RIM exec, you don’t get much out of them, and their answers always have a heavy PR spin, but there’s some interesting points nonetheless.
With regards to apps, Bates says: “We think one of the bigger drivers is social networks. Apps are important, but social networking shouldn’t be ignored.” In a standard PR move, the conversation was taken away from where RIM needs work (ie attracting more developers), to where they do well: social network engagement. Twitter and Facebook for BlackBerry do very well in terms of engagement, even though the apps themselves are nothing special. Bates even goes as far as saying that RIM has “a very good MySpace interaction”, which is strange considering the app hasn’t been updated in ages and has a ton of bad reviews in App World.
During the interview Bates also has this to say about the PlayBook’s “staggered” launch: “We had one for Torch and it worked quiet nicely. The staggered launch for Torch worked really well for us.” This answer seemed odd because the Torch launch wasn’t seem anything like the PlayBook launch. The Torch had a big announcement and press event in NYC, and was on sale shortly after. The PlayBook was announced months ago and we still don’t have a solid launch date.