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Analysts: RIM shipped 50,000 BlackBerry PlayBooks on launch

updated 11:30 am EDT, Wed April 20, 2011

RBC, Jefferies say 50K BlackBerry PlayBooks moved

RBC Capital Markets analyst Mike Abramsky and Jeffries & Co. analyst Peter Misek estimated Wednesday that RIM had sold about 50,000 BlackBerry PlayBook tablets on its first day. Checks by Abramsky at about 70 different participating stores, including Best Buy, Radio Shack, and Staples, showed sell-outs at about 11 percent of shops. These included the month of pre-orders, Abramsky said.

He also investigated 180 Best Buy stores online and found some were listed out of stock. About 91 percent of the stores had no 64GB models, while 87 percent were out of 32GB versions and 13 percent had no 16GB versions. The store check was calculated separately since some if not most of the stores might not have had one or both of the high capacity models.

The RBC analyst extrapolated to estimate that RIM would ship a total of 500,000 tablets in its spring quarter.

Misek was mostly in agreement and estimated about 45,000 units sold after checks at Best Buy and Staples, about 20,000 of which were at retail and 25,000 through pre-orders. He may have corroborated Abramsky's online checks as he estimated that most of the sales were for the 32GB and 64GB versions. Corporate sales may have been higher, he added.

The performance if borne out could lead to a modest but qualified success. Both suspected that RIM may have outsold lackluster Xoom sales both on the first day and in their respective quarters. While explanations weren't complete, the lower practical starting price and the emphasis on no-commitment Wi-Fi versions first may have played a significant part. Some may also have been drawn to a relatively good Flash implementation and overall speed, Misek said.

Misek added that he didn't expect RIM to seriously challenge the iPad 2. "We like the Playbook but cannot see giving up our iPad 2 for it," he elaborated. "We believe it will capture a slice of the market but [the] iPad will be the majority."

By Electronista Staff


  1. eyerhyme

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2007


    50,000 losers bought

    Yep... no on board email, calendar, contacts, 45% less screen, and next to no apps. Wow... people are suckers.

  1. freddymac

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2010


    Never underestimate

    the stupidity of people in large groups.................

  1. bonaccij

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2003


    I think

    50,000 on launch is indicative of people who are testing this device. It doesn't quite sound like "demand" to me. Will be interesting to see how this all pans out though.

  1. ferdchet

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2011


    Train Wreck

    I have talked to two of my customers this week who have the PlayBook already, and are big RIM shops. One of them described it as a "train wreck" and the other doesn't see it as likely that they will adopt. "2 years too late and still falling behind" was what he said.

    I would agree that the 50k number includes a lot of tire kickers. Give it another month and see where the number is to actually make a determination.

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2004


    Good, but needs to be better

    7" is important - but it also has to be quite thin, think 7mm thin.

    Light - important.

    Also, they are getting dinged for the whole BB bridge "requirement" even though for most users this is *not* a requirement, its being played that way in the media. In other words, if you are currently accessing your corporate email via BB - then you need the BB phone - but then again, you probably have a BB phone, in that case.

    If you are just looking for yahoo or google mail - well the Playbook can serve that up right now. It's only lacking the BB email feature natively - using the bridge instead.

    Android tablet sales will be fine. Are fine.

    The Xoom is being rejected because its way, way too expensive, and in many cases they were selling it as requiring a data contract.

    You have - only released last week a $349 wi-fi Samsung Galaxy Tab - but that doesn't run a tablet OS.

    They just haven't "yet" released a price-competitive TABLET OS based Android tab.

    It has to have Android 3.0 Honeycomb, cost $349 or less, and be powerful.

    Samsung Galaxy Tab has the price and hardware - but no Android 3.0 and anyway was only finally available last week - they, like everyone else, were trying to force those cell contracts that nobody wants.

    Anyway, long story short - what the market is rejecting is not android - they are just rejecting those business models that the majors were 'experimenting' with - well the results of the experiment are in FAIL.

    And I'm glad. I hated that business model. I look forward to Android 3.0, thin and light, 7" tabs - and I predict they will sell just fine by Christmas.

  1. Foe Hammer

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2005


    Now Remember ...

    The company's Jim Balsille didn't believe it was "fair" that people attacked the PlayBook for the lack of native e-mail, calendaring and other core apps.

    In other words, we didn't rush the PlayBook out the door ... we went into this space fully intending to make this piece of SHITtake mushroom.

  1. slapppy

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2008


    Moderate success?

    LOL! Talk about sugar coating a failure.

  1. erics

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2010


    Will it blend?

    well you know that one or two is going to be used for that ;)

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