The BlackBerry PlayBook has received a lot of attention since its official release Tuesday. Much of this attention has been negative, and many felt that RIM’s foray into the tablet market was destined to flop.
Initial analysis by the Royal Bank of Canada Capital Markets paints a slightly sunnier picture for RIM. The Toronto-based bank projects that around 50,000 PlayBooks were sold on launch day, a figure that is quite respectable considering the notable problems facing the new tablet.
This figure, while optimistic, is paltry compared to the world’s most popular tablet, the iPad. As the Economic Times points out, the 50,000 PlayBooks sold total a mere sixth of the 300,000 iPads sold on launch day last April. However, the PlayBook sales did beat launch sales for the Android OS running Samsung Galaxy and Motorola Xoom.
Apparently, 11% of the major chains selling the tablet reported selling out. Those major chains include Best Buy, Staples and Sears. Over 20,000 units are said to have sold in stores and 25,000 were sold through pre-orders.
Before the Playbook even hit shelves, it had received mixed reviews. While many applauded its ease of use and functionality, many were incensed by its lack of native email and calendar clients, as well as its lack of BlackBerry messenger.
The existence of the BlackBerry Bridge App helped to ease these concerns, as it provides an easy way to link the PlayBook to users existing BlackBerry Smartphones. But, adding more problems to the device, AT&T is not allowing the app as many speculate they don’t like the fact that it allows users to tether to their 3G for free. Yesterday, it was reported that the BlackBerry Desktop Manager for Mac will not receive PlayBook support until this summer.
As quoted in the Times, Analyst Peter Misek of Jeffries & Co, in his research note Wednesday, said, “While the launch of the Playbook is not attracting overnight crowds, pre-order sales and in-store demand in major cities has been solid; however, AT&T’s prohibition of free tethering is an unexpected negative.”
So it looks as though BlackBerry Fans are hungry for a tablet that boasts the same type of functionality as their smartphones, even if the first offering is a little flawed.