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BlackBerry PlayBook launches to some sales, no lines

updated 11:05 pm EDT, Tue April 19, 2011

BlackBerry PlayBook faces lukewarm launch

RIM's expectations for the BlackBerry PlayBook were half-met on Wednesday with some sales but little of the fanfare hoped for with the launch. One anecdote in Toronto, an hour and a half from RIM's Waterloo headquarters, illustrated some sales but little buzz. A flagship Future Shop in the heart of the city had a significant number of pre-orders but over-prepared for the launch, opening early and hiring a catering company when just two people showed up by doors open.

"As a RIM investor, I was sort of hoping there would be more customers than reporters here," first-in-line Henry Kim told the Financial Post.

About a dozen people city-wide lined up based on cursory checks.

In San Francisco, a similar report had strong sales at Best Buy and Office Depot, although neither had quantified to Wired how many had traded hands. Others either hadn't received supply or, at other Office Depots, still had ample stock. An update from Manhattan by Barron's showed one Best Buy sold out and no signs of special attention to the introduction.

RIM hadn't built up the launch to a large degree and started an early pre-order campaign that gave early adopters roughly a month ahead, reducing the incentive to show up early. Its mild approach to promoting the hardware in-store also left it fighting for retail space and often receiving little to no extra attention.

Apple is commonly believed to have declined any pre-orders for the iPad 2 and announced relatively quickly to build up lines but saw its online orders backlogged by three to four weeks even in the few hours of online-only sales before retail stores were ready.

Some of the release may have been tempered by mixed reviews. Buyers like Kim argued that "messaging is more important than apps" but bought a device that couldn't check e-mail or calendars at all without a nearby BlackBerry and didn't get BlackBerry Messenger in any form on the first day. The OS has been praised for being relatively intuitive and good at multitasking but is also missing features intended for the hardware, like video chat, and has a slim choice of apps.

by MacNN Staff



  1. noverflow

    Joined: Dec 1969



    This is actually quite sad to hear. Catering for 2 people? Sorry guys.

  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Don't feel bad for those two waiting on line...

    They both got their PlayBook and all the food they could possibly eat. It's odd that they really expected long lines for the PlayBook. How many of those 7" tablets do they think they'll be able to sell? 100,000 or so, maybe? I heard that there weren't many apps for it and it's more useful if you already have a BlackBerry. It will be interesting if there is no actual tablet market. Just an iPad tablet market. Apple could make a serious killing in sales revenue holding on to 70% or so market share for a couple of years.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. imNat-imadouche

    Joined: Dec 1969


    besides isheeps

    who are just idiots, who else stupid enough to line up for a product???

  1. chas_m



    RIM is making a huge mistake here.

    They need to position the Playbook as *strictly business* with none of that greasy kid's stuff. They need to limit it to serious enterprise and small-biz apps, dump the Android c***, and position it as the executive, corporate, cubicle-approved tablet computer and actively poo-poo tablets that have frivolous or entertainment apps of any sort in their marketing.

    Forget the public. Go for corporate/institutional sales. That is the ONLY way you're going to win out a lucrative niche, RIM. Blackberry didn't get where it got by being FUN. It did one thing extremely well. What the playbook needs is FOCUS. RIM has a chance to beat Microsoft here, because they've taken their eye off the ball as well.

    Let's hope you didn't bet the company's future on your present approach: trying to beat Apple at their own game. NA GA HA PEN.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. imNat-imadouche

    Joined: Dec 1969



    And don't forget lining up to your moms room :)

  1. macnnoel

    Joined: Dec 1969


    It looks just like an Android tablet! or is it com

    Lehssee...should I get the 150 buck no name one or the 800 dollar one? Hmmm... Playbook huh- This one looks like a winner.

  1. jarod

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Very very dumb

    Why would anyone in their right mind buy anything but an iPad? I mean, what on earth are you going to do with it? It doesn't integrate into anything, isn't part of anything, and it's a half-a** baked imitation of the iPad. People are funny sometimes. Rim is dead. The sooner they accept it, they easier they'll make it on themselves while at the same time avoiding the monumental public humiliation train. No one likes a copy-cat and so far, none of the these 'iPad killers' have come within 0.01% of taking out Apple. The only thing they have confirmed is that there truly is one real technology company out there and that's Apple.. the rest well, not really sure in what category to put them. Junk-tech perhaps?

  1. MacGeek.

    Joined: Dec 1969


    closed minded..

    blackberry geeks are the only people buying these.. they are so oblivious of the environment around them. Cave Dwellers???

  1. B9bot

    Joined: Dec 1969


    No software, no email, no calendar, no reason to b

    No software, no email, no calendar. No reason to buy.

  1. facebook_Alan

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Apr 2011


    If you are not going all the way then hold back..

    I am a bit baffled why RIM would launch a tablet minus its strong points. What would be the reason to buy a table with no email, no BBM and no calendar, whats left? Strategies like this will simply feed Apple to dominate the market. I own the original iPad and this would be another reason for me to continue buying Apple products.

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