Have we met before? Your face looks familiar…

Definition of a Me-Too Product

Tactic of a market follower who attempts to avoid losing market share to a competitor by offering a product that is a copy of a competitor's product or innovation. (From Answer.com)

Having said this, I commence:

Less than 24 hours ago, Research in Motion, the maker of the Blackberry Smartphone, announced the company’s latest venture- the PlayBook. CEO Mike Lazaridis calls the new slate the “first professional tablet”, and will include a 7 inch multi-touch display, a 3 megapixel front-facing camera, an HDMI port, USB jack, WiFi, Bluetooth, Flash view enabling, among other things.

 As I read the product features, this text caught my attention:

- Internet the way it was meant to be

   Built-in support for Adobe® Flash®. What would the world be without it?

- Face-to-face conversations

   Real time video-conferencing. Who would buy a tablet without it?

Does this ring a bell?  A bit direct, perhaps?

Company founder Dan Dodge commented that the PlayBook will be “an incredible gaming platform for publishers and the players.”

I’m not sure whether the attempt to position the tablet both as a professional and a ‘playful’ product could be successful; perhaps it’s too ambivalent considering that Apple is already linked to the image of friendliness and is pioneer in this market segment. They do, however, offer the benefits of some qualities that were criticized as lacking in the iPad (USB port and camera, to name a few). The product is set to be launched in the first trimester of 2011, and the price is still unknown.  Perhaps a good price mix will cater to a more mainstream audience, regardless of the difference in timing  for the market introduction compared to Apple’s iPad.

Will users learn to associate Blackberry to tablets, and in consequence buy it? Will Apple “tune up” the iPad in order to meet the innovations the PlayBook has to offer?  Only time will tell…

All I can say is... play ball!

* Note: Special thanks to my favorite advertising exec, Edgar Estevez, for breaking the news to me...

Leave a Reply