First in Africa: RIM demo’s BlackBerry Playbook at Innovation Dinner

Rui Brites demonstrates BlackBerry PlayBook at April Innovation Dinner (Image: File photo)

Research In Motion (RIM), the maker of the BlackBerry solution, demonstrated the latest BlackBerry PlayBook tablet at the April Innovation Dinner held in Sandton, Johannesburg last night. This was the first public demo of the device in Africa.

The BlackBerry Playbook was launched in the global technology market on Tuesday 19 April 2011. The official launch date and price range for South Africa and the rest of the African continent has not been confirmed by RIM.

Rui Brites, Team Leader, Product Management for Africa at RIM, demonstrated the new BlackBerry PlayBook to an enchanted ICT audience.

One of the key features of the PlayBook is the BlackBerry bridge application; an amplified view of personal information from the mobile BlackBerry device to the PlayBook.

“We wanted to provide professional grade mobile computing,” said Brites. “The key aspect of the PlayBook is the uncompromising browsing experience. The device supports rich media, HTML5 and is fully flash integrated.”

The PlayBook is expected to join the ranks of other popular tablets currently dominating the global market. The PlayBook is equipped with a dual core processor and multi-core OS. It has powerful multi-tasking tools which  allow for dual view, and is shipped with Kobo (an eBook reader), Adobe Reader, Word, Sheet and Slideshow pre-installed.

More photographs of the demonstration are available on our Facebook page.

The Innovation Dinner was well attended by leading African IT Executives who discussed the mobile security challenges faced by their organization.

Craige Fleischer, Regional Director Southern Africa for RIM highlighted mobile phones as the fastest growing device on the African continent, which currently has a population of approximately 1 billion people.

Carel Bouwer, Regional IT Strategy and Planning Director for Lafarge MEA, spoke of the mobile security protocols used by his company’s personnel. Bouwer further discussed the steps of overcoming mobile enterprise security challenges. “Lafarge is entering the mobile era. dcLink gives the company coverage for inventory bar coding, sales force and purchase request approvals,” said Bouwer. He further highlighted that the main challenges being faced by mobile security professionals is that no one has the ultimate safety solution.

Edwin Thompson, General Manager Infrastructure and Technology at MTN Business, provided an overview of the history of managing software, how it’s designed around risk and the impact it has on mobile devices. “Risk back then was physical,” said Thompson. “What has changed is that data is now virtual. The risk is at the user interface. The physical risk remains the largest security threat. ”

The Innovation Dinner series is a bi-monthly networking dinner which offers a great opportunity to network with ICT business leaders. For more information, please visit our Innovation Dinner website.

Bontle Moeng