Research In Motion has posted a video on YouTube comparing the iPad’s Web browser to the browser on RIM’s not-yet-released BlackBerry Playbook tablet. The company shows both devices side by side and has them visit the same Web sites to compare rendering speed and accuracy. Not surprisingly, the examples used show Playbook as the clear winner in both measures.
As the Playbook isn’t yet shipping, it’s impossible to do independent tests, and Apple fans will no doubt point out that RIM is comparing a not-yet-shipping device to a device that has been on the market for seven months. By the time Playbook does ship, a 2nd generation iPad is likely to be on the way or perhaps even already released.
On the other hand, supporters of RIM (or anything that’s not Apple) are likely to counter that even if a 2nd generation iPad is faster, it still won’t support Flash, one of the cornerstones of RIM’s defense of its still-not-available Playbook. RIM’s CEO has worked hard to make the case that Flash is the shiznit, and the most important part of offering a proper Web browsing experience.
In addition, Apple fans will no doubt immediately see how iPads’s larger display looks better and is easier to type on (a subjective issue, in any event), whilst Playbook fans (and Apple haters) will see that the smaller 7” form factor makes Playbook more portable.
The reality is that any time a company like Apple, RIM, Google, Microsoft (etc.) shows us comparisons like these, they have been carefully screened ahead of time to demonstrate the results that company wishes us to see.
In the end, rendering speeds aren’t going to sell devices (no matter who’s in front at any particular point in time), and the market has already ruled that the lack of Flash support isn’t keeping people from buying iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches; which means that this video’s appeal is mainly to nerds like us (and you) who want to argue about the importance of esoteric crap that the rest of the world doesn’t care about.
With that ostentatious introduction, we present RIM’s video: