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Retailer: BlackBerry PlayBook missed sales targets by 90%

updated 11:45 am EDT, Fri May 20, 2011

Store chain claims PlayBook sales falling short

An insider at a "major big box retailer" asserted Friday that sales of the BlackBerry PlayBook had been perilously low. The unnamed but reportedly reliable source claimed to BGR that RIM's tablet had missed the store chain's sales targets by over 90 percent. Dissatisfaction was also supposedly very high, he said, with returns at a "much higher rate" than the Motorola Xoom, whose own return rate was higher than average at seven percent.

The distribution of the PlayBook leaves relatively few possibilities for who would float claims of poor sales. Best Buy, Fry's, Office Depot, and Staples are the main resellers, and Best Buy through its scale is known to be the largest supplier.

Claims of the sort would partly clash with analyst estimates of 250,000 shipped so far. Even if precise, though, it would only represent the units delivered to stores and not those bought by customers. RIM in its outlook said shipments were good but didn't quantify or discuss sell-through.

If validated later, the figures could show a major crisis for RIM's first venture into tablets. The company has repeatedly tried to dismiss the iPad and Android tablets by claiming that "amateur hour is over" and that it had the first "professional-grade" tablet. A rushed release, however, has left out major native apps such as e-mail, a calendar, or easy video sharing features, with video chat only coming a few weeks afterwards.

RIM has been asked for comment but hasn't had an opportunity to respond as of this writing. More concrete figures aren't expected until the company's official results are posted on June 16.

by MacNN Staff



  1. B9bot

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Why anyone would want this?

    No software for the most basic things like email and calendar. Battery life is worst than average.
    Hey, but it does flash! Big deal, NOT!!!!
    Released before it was finished, not going to help RIM at all.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. vistate

    Joined: Dec 1969


    i call bs

    No names, no official numbers. BS.

    Battery life is fantastic.

    Tethered EMAIL/CAL/COntacts = awesome.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. vistate

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I personally love

    The hate on for this product. Mainly because it comes from folks who haven't even held it in their hands and are too busy sucking on apples k***.

    I don't think you folks understand how great of a device this is...err...the power button...thats an issue? Again, you haven't actually used one. Battery life? Again you haven't used one for an entire day....and than had battery the next day to continue using it.

    Amazing that a proffessional analyst (humerously speaking) at RBC claims good sales, low return rates. And unnamed source at unnamed big box is claiming unnamed missed targets by unnamed anything.

    so BULL SH*T is what I call.

  1. aardman

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Has somebody

    started an Official Blackberry Death Watch yet?

  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Five hours battery life for a tablet is useless...

    whether it plays Flash or not. I'll give this product time to get sorted out but it has a lot of competition from the Android camp and Wall Street really does hate this company, so RIM and BlackBerry doesn't stand much of a chance for the future.

  1. viktorob

    Joined: Dec 1969


    LoL, good joke, no numbers.. it was a joke right?

    250.000 SHIPPED and 90% under estimated, men, those number must hurt a lot of people at RIM.
    Even if they sold all those 250.000, they are like a 15 times less of what the iPad 2 sold in their first day.

  1. slapppy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    If only the CEOs

    If only the CEO's kept their trap shut or in check. They were busy slamming the iPad and Apple, to the point that people are expecting a much superior product from them. Instead they bring out a POS... So perhaps they do deserve criticism. If they kept their trap shut, people wouldn't be so hard on them.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    If the same comments came out about an Apple product, they'd be shouted down as being from some unnamed source from one store with anecdotal evidence.

    But since its a Blackberry product, well, we know it won't sell, so the guy must be right on!

  1. ggirton

    Joined: Dec 1969


    someone I know ..

    wrote an app for that tablet. He said the app submission process was extremely arduous -- and then his app was rejected! He was undaunted however, and said he would try again -- maybe in the summer or the fall, whenever he got around to it.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Joined: Dec 1969


    story is false

    anonymous source - that's one thing - no details - not even the name of the retailer - this story amounts to nothing.

    Sorry but BGR doesn't have that reputation that I can trust they verified the source - and in any even, no details.

    Did they project to sell one million but only sold 100,000? Which retailer, some are more important than others....there is just about no details at all in this story, save it means to cast doubt on your Playbook purchase.

    Others have stated the return rate for Playbooks are very low - not high.

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