O2 UK refuses to sell BlackBerry PlayBook because of “issues with customer experience”
Today the BlackBerry PlayBook, RIM’s first tablet, has become widely available in the UK, from retailers and mobile network operators alike. One company, however, chose not to take part in the launch.
O2 UK decided not to sell the PlayBook, at least not for the foreseeable future. The reason it cites has to do with “some issues with the end to end customer experience”. These words have been used in a note from the operator to those subscribers that expressed their interest in the PlayBook in the past. Apparently, O2 continues to work with RIM on fixing those issues, and the operator may release other tablets to come out of the Canadian manufacturer in the future. In fact, it may even launch the PlayBook itself at some (probably distant) point in the future.
This isn’t the first time when O2 decided not to take part in a nationwide launch of a new shiny gadget, of course. As recently as two months ago, the operator didn’t launch the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play Android smartphone at the same time as everyone else, and the reasoning back then was very similar to what we’re hearing now regarding the PlayBook – it had to do with subpar user experience and last minute bugs.
So either O2 is the only major UK operator that actually cares about its users’ experiences with the devices it sells, or it’s perhaps become a little bit too strict for its own good. Time will tell.