Has the BlackBerry Playbook flopped?

Has the BlackBerry Playbook flopped?

Summary: RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook sales at one unnamed big box retailer have missed internal sales targets by more than 90%, and has a higher return rate than Motorola's Xoom, according to an unnamed source speaking to BGR.

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RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook sales at one unnamed big box retailer have missed internal sales targets by more than 90%, and has a higher return rate than Motorola's Xoom, according to an unnamed source speaking to BGR.

According to the report, not only were sales targets missed by more than 90%, but the return rate exceeded that of the Motorola Xoom (which itself has a high reported return rate of 7%).

It looks like the lack of apps, no native email client, a recall, complaints of overheating and dead pixels, and monstrously strong opposition from the iPad haven't been good for RIM's and its foray into the tablet waters.

So far there have been no official sales figures released by RIM.

[UPDATE: This in from a RIM spokesperson:

The source of the reported comment is anonymous and unknown to RIM, but the comment is certainly inconsistent with the positive feedback we have received from our main retail partners. As previously indicated, RIM will provide a business update on BlackBerry PlayBook results on June 16.

There's an associated statement by Best Buy:

Best Buy has had great success selling BlackBerry smartphones in North America, so our sales expectations for the BlackBerry PlayBook were very high. To date, we have far exceeded those expectations and we're finding that customers are even more interested in purchasing once they've tested the PlayBook in the store.

So, strong denial that PlayBook sales have been weak, but no numbers.]

Topics: BlackBerry, Hardware, Mobile OS, Mobility

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52 comments
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  • really?

    No email client? seriously?
    tatiGmail
    • coming in an update...

      @tatiGmail
      first major update they're bringing is to include the email client...

      ...they designed the thing mainly for business users, who would be using the blackberry bridge to access their email via their bb...
      shryko
      • RE: Has the BlackBerry Playbook flopped?

        @shryko Even though it's supposed to come in the first major update and they were mainly targeting current BB users it was a major mistake to not include the email client from day one.
        non-biased
      • RE: Has the BlackBerry Playbook flopped?

        @shryko
        This was an excellent read, as always. Great stuff like this is what keeps me coming back.
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        epark732
      • RE: Has the BlackBerry Playbook flopped?

        @shryko
        Blackberry are in serious trouble and I would sell all shares of blackberry at this stage.

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        cateuse
      • RE: Has the BlackBerry Playbook flopped?

        @shryko

        blackberry is a dying business. If I were a shareholder i would pull out asap



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        cateuse
    • RE: Has the BlackBerry Playbook flopped?

      @tatiGmail
      I agree, this was the biggest reason i didn't get one, and wont get one till they fix it.
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      thomasutt1984
  • If BB's strength....

    is the enterprise, will they purchase their BBs at a big box retailer? I do not know if the Playbook will be successful or not, but maybe you are looking in the wrong place?
    Economister
    • Me too

      @Economister That's what I wonder as well. I thought the whole pitch was to corporate IT departments: here's a tablet you can centrally manage, yada yada. I wouldn't expect those sales to come out of big box retailers, or even the wireless stores.
      Robert Hahn
    • RE: Has the BlackBerry Playbook flopped?

      @Economister

      Agreed, a couple of infrastructure engineers here bought theirs at Best Buy with no intention of keeping it, they just wanted to play around with it a bit to see what it was like.

      Overall response was along the lines of "It's good, just needs to plug a few missing holes, I can see us using them".

      We shall see I guess, probably not one we can judge for 12 months or so.
      OffsideInVancouver
    • That's what I would have thought

      @Economister
      Until this past week when I have seen consumer targeted ads for the Playbook on TV. It seems that they are targeting consumers, particularly when the loudest message of those ads is "watch *all* the Internet video you want". The message of the entire ad was "our tablet runs Flash" and the Flash Gordon theme song by Queen ran behind the entire ad.

      So it runs Flash - all well and good. It seems that RIM should also look into what it *still* doesn't so natively though.
      use_what_works_4_U
      • They are obviously ....

        @macadam <br><br>at least testing the consumer market. I am just not sure we can draw any conclusions about the possible overall success at this point.<br><br>It does not take a lot of imagination, going by "OffsideInVancouver's" response, to imagine big box sales being poor and return rates really high, but does that really mean anything yet?
        Economister
    • well

      @Economister if they are looking for a place to dump a bunch of cheap junk, the enterprise is your man.
      CowLauncher
  • RE: Has the BlackBerry Playbook flopped?

    Best Buy selling more playbook than any one else, You must read the statement from Best Buy,Selling more Playbook than they expected. so one retailer who is that? Playbook is simply amazing because I have one, My wife has Ipad2, She uses playbook more often, because she thinks Playbook is way better.
    powerphrase@...
    • RE: Has the BlackBerry Playbook flopped?

      @powerphrase@... forgive me, but I think I'll go with ZDNet's numbers.
      nickswift498
      • RE: Has the BlackBerry Playbook flopped?

        @nickswift498 .... you're forgiven for being duped with ZDNet's "numbers", which in fact are not theirs in the first place, but were reported by BGR from an "unnamed source". So much for reliable journalism.
        Roderren
      • RE: Has the BlackBerry Playbook flopped?

        @nickswift498 what numbers would those be? All I see is a reference to BGR's blog entry which is itself unsourced and specifies no numbers at all.
        marc.paradise@...
  • RE: Has the BlackBerry Playbook flopped?

    250000 is hardly a flop
    respighifan
    • 250,000 SHIPPED in two months is nothing to brag about

      @respighifan Shipped is not the same as sold.

      Then again, the Moto Xoom hasn't even achieved that number and it has being on the market almost double the time.
      wackoae
      • RE: Has the BlackBerry Playbook flopped?

        @wackoae Shipped is not the same as sold but the figure from Mike Abramsky, the RBC analyst, was not for units shipped but actual sell-through.
        lajeep