Research in Motion’s BlackBerry PlayBook is aimed at business users and one of its selling points is the way you can pair it with a BlackBerry smartphone to access corporate email, calendar, and messaging paps. Disconnect the phone and the data from those apps disappears. This not only makes it easy for corporate IT folks to support the PlayBook (since it’s basically just using your smartphone’s connection, which is probably already set up), but also helps protect secure data.

Unfortunately it also means that at launch RIM won’t have native email, calendar, or messaging apps for the PlayBook — so if you were planning on picking up the WiFi tablet and didn’t want to pair it with a BlackBerry phone, you may have to look to third party software or web-based apps.

Now there’s good news on that front, because IBM has announced plans to bring a version of its Lotus office suite to the PlayBook. That includes Lotus email, document, spreadsheet, and presentation apps. Rather than focus on native apps for the tablet though, it looks like IBM is developing a cloud-based version of LotusLive Symphony which will be able to run on Android, BlackBerry, iOS, and other tablets — presumably through a web browser. But at a recent event, IBM specifically singled out the PlayBook by demonstrating the office suite on the tablet.

Brad Linder

Brad Linder is editor of Liliputing and Mobiputing. He's been tinkering with mobile tech for decades and writing about it since...