BlackBerry sells about 50,000 PlayBook tablets on launch day: Report : New gizmos, Gadgets gazette Blog

Sunday, May 15, 2011

BlackBerry sells about 50,000 PlayBook tablets on launch day: Report

TORONTO: Considering all the negative reviews its received before its launch, the BlackBerry tablet PlayBook sold more than expected on Tuesday, according to figures.

Accroding to an analysis of the sale figures on Wednesday, Research In Motion (RIM) might have sold 500,000 tablets on launch day.

Though these figures are just one-sixth of the 300,000 iPads sold by Apple on launch in April last year, the PlayBook's first-day sales are much better than those of other tablets such as Samsung's Galaxy Tab and Motorola's Xoom - both of which run Google Android operating system.

The analysis by the Toronto-based RBC Capital Markets, which is an investment bank of the country's top Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), said 11 per cent of retail stores reported selling all their stock on the opening day.

Future Shop, Best Buy, Sears and Staple are the major chains which are selling the PlayBook in North America.

Many of 180 Best Buy stores were reporting that they were out of stock, according the report.
The PlayBook has been trashed for lacking access to email, content and calendar unless the buyer is a BlackBerry subscriber because he can tether it to his smart phone with BlackBerry Bridge software. But the BlackBerry Bridge software is not yet available on AT&T which accounts for eight million of over 60 million BlackBerry subscribers.

Though the tablet can connect to the Internet through Wi-Fi, tethering via BlackBerry Bridge is needed to use its native Blackberry email and calendar apps. All BlackBerry carrier networks offer tethering free. RIM has promised 3G version and more models later this summer.

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."

According to his projections, RIM sold about 25,000 tablets through pre-orders and retail outlets accounted for another 20,000 tablets.

"If correct, 45K+ sell through on the first day would be a success," Misek wrote in his research note.

RIM stock was also up more than two percent on the Toronto Stock Exchange Wednesday after sinking nearly four percent Tuesday.

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