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Seven Inches

Just over two years ago Blackberry released the Playbook, it’s entry into the tablet market. The device did somethings differently from the iPad – it’s biggest competition, in that it ran the QNIX operating system and was a daring 7 inches in screen size.

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Now QNIX is an interesting choice for an OS in a market where there are really only two contenders: iOS and Android.(I liked Symbian too, but it’s dead. Moving on…) QNIX is another variation on UNIX, which forms the base code for…

Both iOS and Android.

You see About seven or eight years ago Apple re-wrote the base code for their Apple OS (Called OS 9). The new, more robust code was based on the BSD Unix source code, where as Android is based on Linux. In computer terms they are cousins.

Blackberry was counting on it’s current market share of Blackberry smart phone users to adopt the Playbook, recognizing it’s compatibility with their smart phones of choice.

The Playbook was unsuccessful. At the time the feedback I heard was that no one really liked the 7 inch form factor, while everyone thought the iPad was fantastic at 10 inches. The iPad has also had a huge benefit from the iTunes Store, with it’s myriad apps. The Playbook only recently improved it’s functionality with the Google Play App store, which is like the iTunes Store for Android Apps.  It is only recently that the Google Play store has been at parity with the iTunes store.   Although the Blackberry Playbook was a bit behind the times in terms of software, it was ahead of the curve in recognizing the niche of a seven inch tablet. Three years ago it was a dud. Today, with it’s enhanced ability to run Android Apps, its a viable option.

A year later, Samsung released the 7 inch Galaxy Tab 2 just as Android was emerging to challenge Apple in the Tablet marketplace. I always liked this device. Although I really see it as an excellent alternative to a real e-book reader. Samsung continues to release tablets in about three or four form factors, desperately trying to deduce what consumers want.

Apple has been wondering. Apple knows what people want. Recently, Apple released the iPad mini, it’s own seven inch offering.

People lined up for hours. Seven inch tablets (apparently) have many advantages over larger, heavier models. Who knew?

The iPad Mini retails for 329.99 CAD at Future shop.

Today they sell the Playbook for 129.99.