Mark Bridge writes:
RIM and Sony Ericsson each reveal a new product within 24 hours. One has a 7-inch screen and a big announcement at the company's developer conference. The other, with a 1.3-inch micro-display, has a lower-key launch. Yet it's the similarities that have attracted my attention.
The BlackBerry PlayBook tablet is described as 'ultra convenient'. It lets you use the display to view email, BlackBerry Messenger, calendar, tasks, documents and any other content from your BlackBerry smartphone.
The Sony Ericsson LiveView is 'convenient' (but not 'ultra convenient'), according to the press release. It lets you use the display to read text messages, see incoming calls, keep up to date with Facebook and Twitter, control the music player, display calendar events and other phone applications.
This is all sounding very familiar, isn't it? Both link with the phone via Bluetooth. Both have been developed for a popular operating system; RIM's tablet pairs with a BlackBerry smartphone, Sony Ericsson's LiveView needs one of the company's Xperia X10 Android devices. (Or, curiously, a Samsung Galaxy S or HTC Desire).
It strikes me that these devices are at opposite ends of the same scale. Look through the telescope one way and you see the PlayBook. Look in the opposite direction and you'll notice the LiveView. I'm not sure if this means anything. But it's certainly curious that one manufacturer thinks we need information on a bigger device – while another thinks we want something smaller.