Telefónica’s British arm, O2, has been telling its customers not to expect Research In Motion’s BlackBerry PlayBook on their network any time soon. The company sent out notifications to those who had expressed interest in the device that cited concerns about the customer experience on RIM’s attempt to answer Apple’s iPad.
“[O2] will not be selling the device,” the notification told customers, according to Engadget. “unfortunately there are some issues with the end to end customer experience.”
That’s bad news for Research In Motion, but it goes far to explain why O2 wasn’t participating in the UK launch of the PlayBook, which happened today. O2 did say, however, that it would continue to work with RIM and look at future versions of the PlayBook.
The PlayBook is a 7” tablet priced the same as Apple’s 9.7” iPad 2: 16GB starts at $499, a 32GB model is $599, and a 64GB model is $699. Unlike the iPad, however, the PlayBook is effectively a companion device to RIM’s signature BlackBerry smartphone, and some features such as e-mail do not work without a BlackBerry.
Vodaphone and Orange are selling the device in the UK, however, as are retailers Best Buy, Phones4u, Dixon’s, Currys, and PC World.