Tablet wars: RIM lowers PlayBook estimates, Amazon readies tablet, iPad rolls on

The tablet wars are heating up: RIM is halving sales forecasts of its PlayBook tablet, as Amazon is readying its Android tablet to shake up the tablet segment. Meanwhile Apple keeps selling iPads like crazy.
Written by James Kendrick, Contributor

The tablet space is the most active in the mobile world with just about every company trying to cash in on the iPad success. BlackBerry producer RIM has been beleaguered lately over poor performance and was hoping its PlayBook tablet would turn things around, but a report indicates that is not the case. Meanwhile Amazon is rumored to be readying its own tablet for market, which has industry watchers ready to scrutinize its first entry into the tablet market. Android tablet makers are vying for sales to compete not only with the iPad but with each other for a piece of the slim pie. While Android tablet makers jostle for sales, Apple just keeps selling iPads like hotcakes.

Digitimes is reporting that RIM has halved its internal sales projections for the PlayBook based on sales lower than expected of the tablet. The company originally forecast sales of 2.4 million PlayBooks for the quarter based on initial day sales of around 50,000 units. Sales immediately dropped off after that and RIM is now reported to be internally forecasting less than half the sales for the quarter. The company is hoping that the release of 3G/4G PlayBook models next quarter will kick-start sales.

Amazon is widely thought to be readying its own tablet to bring to the increasingly crowded Android tablet market. Larry Dignan is reporting that suppliers are expecting a late summer/ early fall release of the tablet that Amazon will be bringing to market. The company has been carefully putting an entire content ecosystem in place, and an Amazon tablet would be designed to leverage that to best advantage. This would not only compete with the dominant iPad, but would be firm competition for the crowded Android tablet market. The Amazon tablet would be in a position to take a good piece of the admittedly slim Android tablet pie.

While all of the Android tablet makers are fighting for slim sales, Apple keeps selling iPads like there is no competition in the market. The company is expected to sell 8 - 10 million iPads this quarter, with no slowing down in sight. Apple's continuing sales numbers dwarf all of the competition combined by such a large margin one can't help but wonder if there is even a market for tablets that are not iPads.

Image credit: Flickr user Tsahi Levent-Levi

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