updated 06:05 pm EST, Fri March 11, 2011
BlackBerry PlayBook gets Staples April 17 ad date
(Update: April 10 evidence) More signs have emerged of RIM's timing for the BlackBerry PlayBook through leaks of Staples' ad plans. It should start sending out newspaper ads April 17, confirming that the tablet should be out no later than then. One insider on the CrackBerry forums understood the in-store advertising would start on March 22 or 23 and established the earliest possible opportunity for a launch.
The March 22 timing would notably line up with the start of the CTIA mobile expo in Orlando and could see RIM confirm launch details along with a display of the finished design and firmware.
RIM has been vague about the ship date other than to promise a spring release as far back as September, but it has been showing signs that it's increasingly ready to ship. The design has nonetheless been rushed as it won't have built-in e-mail at first and will depend on a tethered BlackBerry to get messages.
Update: A Sears Canada message is telling customers the PlayBook will ship April 10. Canada should be in the initial wave but may get it slightly later than the US.