Jay Yarow on Why the BlackBerry PlayBook Doesn’t Support Email

Jay Yarow:

Turns out it had to skip native email support on the PlayBook because its architecture can’t support two devices with one person’s account, according to a source.

Here’s how our source explains it: “The Blackberry email system is the BES — which is the source/focus of all the famous BB security. The BES email server has the concept of one user = one device (or they call it PIN).”

Sounds silly, but it fits the evidence. No other explanation makes sense for why RIM, of all companies, would ship a device that doesn’t support email.

Update 1: Some feedback from readers saying that BES doesn’t actually have a one device per user limitation.

Update 2: More readers, via email, say that BES does have a one-device limitation. What allows BlackBerry users to access their email account from multiple devices are things like IMAP and Outlook’s proprietary protocol. But BES itself is single-device. Which raises the question of why the PlayBook doesn’t at least have an IMAP client.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011