First app ever for RIM’s PlayBook: a retirement app by SunLife Financial

Waterloo-based Research in Motion’s forthcoming PlayBook tablet has its first app ever.

SunLife Financial has written the enterprise savvy tablet’s first-ever app, a tool that allows for wireless enrollment in corporate pension plans.

“It’s the first app actually written anywhere in the world for the PlayBook,” said Thomas Reid, Sun Life’s senior vice-president of group retirement services. (A spokesperson for RIM confirmed that Sun Life’s app was “one of the first,” but was unable to say whether it was the first). “It’s a real catalyst for changing behaviour,” Mr. Reid said. “We actually are quite convinced it’s going to be very powerful in getting higher enrolment rates.”

Quoth the Globe and Mail:

RIM’s decision to give Sun Life Financial one of the first cracks at testing an application for its yet-to-be-released tablet speaks to the technology giant’s focus on the business market.

But it says more about the strategy Sun Life is using to try to capture a larger share of Canada’s lucrative business for group pension plans. Sun Life is the largest player in that market, w
hich promises to grow after Ottawa’s recent decision to bolster Canadians’ retirement savings by having private-sector companies, such as insurers, manage a new pooled pension plan, rather than expanding the Canada Pension Plan.

It sounds like an exceptionally boring app if you ask me. Fortunately, RIM acknowledged more apps have been written for the PlayBook too, although no details are yet floating around. There are 20,000 apps available for BlackBerry smartphones through the BlackBerry App World, however, so there isn’t any reason why the PlayBook won’t also achieve this number over time.