Despite poor sales, RIM "absolutely confident" in PlayBook

RIM to focus on selling PlayBook tablet to BlackBerry users.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

RIM continues to be "absolutely confident" in the PlayBook tablet despite poor sales and is to shift its focus to trying to convince BlackBerry enthusiasts to buy the tablet.

Speaking to The Associated Press, Patrick Spence, RIM's managing director for global sales and regional marketing, also hinted that the poor sales were down to RIM not being as clear as it could have been in defining the target audience for the tablet.

"We still could've done a better job of appealing directly to those BlackBerry customers," he said, adding the company is now and "trying to approach more of them."

The company's focus, he said, is on "targeting the 70 million BlackBerry subscribers around the world, and saying: 'this is the tablet for you.'"

In my opinion, RIM should have focused on BlackBerry users right from the start. Sure, a potential customer pool of 70 million might not seem that big if you think there's a massive market for tablets in the first place, but it was 70 million people already owning a BlackBerry and already sold on the product. What RIM tried to do with the PlayBook was sweep aside existing users and instead focus on an untapped market (well, a market untapped by everyone except Apple).

I guess one takeaway from this statement by Spence is that RIM isn't ready just yet to yank the plug on the PlayBook ... though as the HP TouchPad and Microsoft's KIN has shown, when things die in tech, they can dire real fast.

Going after BlackBerry users was obvious ... I'm amazed it's taken RIM this long to figure that one out.

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