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1How RIM Can Improve Its Tablet Credibility

1. Offer A Bigger DisplayOne of the main issues with the RIM BlackBerry PlayBook is that the device comes with a 7-inch display. That might be fine for some enterprise customers, but considering the iPad 2 comes with a 9.7-inch display and the Motorola Xoom has a 10.1-inch screen, it might be a good time for RIM to offer up a larger screen.

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2. Bring 4G As Quickly As PossibleRIM says that it will be offering 4G capability in the BlackBerry PlayBook later this year. If the company wants to improve its tablet credibility sooner rather than later, it should be releasing the 4G option as quickly as possible. Motorola will be offering an upgrade to Xoom soon. What’s taking RIM so long?

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3. Stop Relying So Much On the BlackBerry SmartphoneAfter customers got their hands on the BlackBerry PlayBook, they found that it relies heavily upon RIM’s line of smartphones. That’s an issue. In the next version of the company’s tablet, RIM needs to break the link between the BlackBerry PlayBook and its smartphones, and make it more appealing to those who aren’t so invested in its hardware.

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4. Don’t Lose Sight of ConsumersRIM has always been an enterprise-focused company. And for the most part, that has turned out well. But it might be a good time to start thinking about consumers, too. As Apple’s iPad has shown, consumers are more than willing to jump on the tablet bandwagon. Why shouldn’t RIM want to capitalize on that?

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5. Bring On the AppsRIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook came with only a few thousand available applications at launch. That’s an issue. If RIM wants to improve its tablet cred, it needs more right away. Available apps are a key differentiator in the tablet space. And until RIM can catch up to Apple’s 65,000 iPad apps, it won’t be viewed on the same level as its chief competitor.

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6. Fix the PricingThe BlackBerry PlayBook is currently available for $499 to $699, depending on the amount of storage customers are after. However, for the same price as Apple’s Wi-Fi-only iPad, customers are getting a device with a smaller screen and a lack of important built-in apps, like e-mail and messaging. The BlackBerry PlayBook must be cheaper.

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7. Consider More ModelsAlthough RIM is likely viewing the BlackBerry PlayBook as the first generation of its tablets, the company should consider delivering new models as quickly as possible. They would feature 4G, larger displays, and other key features that are missing from its current slate of devices. It would also be nice if those new models come with more consumer focus.

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8. Think About DesignOne of the biggest issues standing in the way of all tablet makers today is that their product designs look too similar to the iPad 2. Admittedly, it’s hard to build a tablet that doesn’t look like Apple’s product. But if RIM truly wants to increase its tablet cred, the company needs to go back to the drawing board and try to find a way to offer something that looks far more unique.

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9. Security, Security, SecurityAs an enterprise-focused company, RIM has the unique opportunity to offer the best security solutions of any tablet provider in the market. Going forward, will be targeted more by malicious hackers. If RIM can be the company that delivers best-in-class security, it will go a long way in attracting enterprise customers.

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10. Focus On Beating AppleWhen it comes to the tablet market, there is one company that all other competitors should be focusing on: Apple. For RIM, that means understanding what makes the iPad such a success and learning about what Apple does to improve its chances of success. Apple has the most credibility in the tablet space. If RIM wants to earn more, learning from the Cupertino, Calif.-based firm might be its best bet.