BlackBerry PlayBook sales not so hot, being returned more than Xoom? [Update]

Word has it from an anonymous big box retailer that the BlackBerry PlayBook is missing internal sales targets by 90%, and that 7% of those that do sell are being returned – way higher than the Motorola Xoom, appraently. To be fair, this is only one retailer, and analysts have actually been very optimistic about early sales, estimating 250,000 have been sold in the first month.

The BlackBerry PlayBook was launched to mixed reviews, primarily based on glitchy software and poor app selection, but the hardware is solid: it’s got a dual-core 1 GHz processor, 1 GB of RAM, a 3 and 5 megapixel camera (both capable of 1080p video recording), and a responsive 7-inch 1024 x 600 display. Specs aside, the app selection has categorically improved since launch, and though we’re still waiting for stand-alone e-mail, calendar, and contacts apps, the last few patches have smoothed over many bugs in the QNX-based operating system. Take a look at our full review of the pre-release version here.

Reports like this are important to gauge just how successful RIM has been with their first product, but we won’t know exactly where it stands until quarterly numbers are reported. Based on what you guys have seen in the wild, has the PlayBook been as big of a flop as this retailer is making it out to be, or are the PlayBook owners you know been happy with their purchase?

[via BGR]

Update: I just got a statement from RIM replying to the story:


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.

For reference, here is a public statement recently offered 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.”


That kind of response is to be expected, but is it possible that this one anonymous retailer is just plain bad at selling PlayBooks?

  • I’m pretty happy with it the iPad is laying in the bag. I don’t even use the apps like facebook or gomiso I don’t need I use the browser instead.

    • Nehmeg

      You use Safari for Facebook??? I think you have Playbook and don’t even know it! 

  • BMcPeek

     This is just another bias article who is obviously written by an Apple lover. All these articles really piss me off for the fact that the PlayBook is by far the best Tablet but still people have to put it down ANY chance they get for the dumbest things. No native email give me a break thats the only negative thing you can say about it but yet it doesn’t need it go to frigan Gmail yourself just like you would on your desktop. No need for a native email app. Its more secure this way anyway. If people actually used the device before they give reviews on it they would all be different I have a 64g PlayBook and I absolutely love it. The fact that all these new features that will be coming soon to make the PlayBook even better and more feature packed is just mind blowing. All these bad reviews and articles putting the PlayBook down are BS, if the writer even knew ANYTHING about the device I would then understand there side but NON of them do!

    • BMcPeek

      Everything I hear from retailers is that they are selling like crazy.

      • Anonymous

        Same thing from all the places I’ve asked / inquired about.  Mind you, it’s not a fair assessment of north american sales, because most of the places I’ve asked are in the downtown core around the financial district where the blackberry is king.  The only retailers I’ve asked are from Best Buy, Staples, and Radio Shack, and only on a store by store basis.

      • Mo

         I spoke to some RadioSahck managers, and they all said that its not moving. Most stores will not say this because if they do than why will a customers will buy even less.

    • Anonymous

      Simon wrote our review of the PlayBook and has years of BlackBerry experience. 

    • Dude, I own one, I use it, and this article is about as mild on the haterade as humanly possible. Chill.

      Also, I’m actually a self-professed Apple hater. Of all the editorial staff, I’m the only one that doesn’t own a Mac.

    • Nehmeg

      They all know it’s the best machine out there and the best by far. They are on a mission to destroy RIM and the blackberry brand. But when you have a solid product it will be extremely hard to destroy. The unfair attacks and bad reviews will probably slow it down to start but the people who have bought the PB and love it are the ones that will be the biggest promoters of the PB. Wait and see when the Android emulator is released. PB will be a force not to be messed with.

      I have one thing to say to all the analysts who are on a mission to protect Apple and the overpriced toys they make: You will not succeed!!!!

    • Mo

      Get over it. His job is to report about whats happening in the tech sector. A retailer says that they are not selling lots of PlayBook, then that means that they are not selling PlayBooks. SIMPLE! Where did you see his saying that the PlayBook is crap, dumb, trash, useless piece of s**t? Look at the Asus Transformer, its 10.1″ and 16GB, cost $399. The PlayBook is over priced and will be tough to move. People can buy a Acer for the same price and get dual-core processor and bigger screen. Heck for $499 whats stopping people from buying a iPad, more apps and lots of accessories? Stop being such a crybaby and grow the f up.

  • Not even necessary that this retailer is bad at selling Playbooks. Could be equally likely that they’re bad at guessing how many they’d sell. Stores around here opened at 7am and seemed to be expecting line-ups on launch day, so retailers might not have started with the most realistic of expectations.

    You really shouldn’t ship hits BGRs way for crap stories like this one.

  •  I am surprised these devices aren’t selling. I’ve used an iPad for a while and it isn’t useful (no flash, etc.). I would have thought the playbook would do better.

  • Pandora_rocks

    I think the key word here is “ANONYMOUS”
    Everything I have heard from the retailers & also from analysts looking at sales numbers is possitive. I think this could be a Berry hater pretending to be a retailer.

    btw I don’t find this article bias & I appreciate that they included RIM’s reply 🙂

    • Pandora_rocks

      He could indicate it’s anonymous on the title though so people skimming articles aren’t mislead

    • Anonymous

       Officially BGR is short on RIM stock, so I wouldn’t take the article too seriously.

  • Anonymous

     Good point about the dubious nature of the source. We’ll know soon enough, as RIM is set to report its earnings soon. 

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