RIM launches PlayBook to no lines

“Research In Motion’s PlayBook tablet computer launched in almost empty stores on Tuesday, in a far cry from the frenzy that accompanies the debut of anything from rival Apple,” Alastair Sharp and Sinead Carew report for Reuters.

“At an Office Depot in Midtown New York, just three PlayBooks, RIM’s answer to the Apple iPad, left the shelves in the 20 minutes after the store opened, a store employee said,” Sharp and Carew report. “‘It’s going to be a tough sell to the consumer,’ BGC Partner analyst Colin Gillis said of the PlayBook, a sleek but flawed gadget that doesn’t yet offer the secure email that is the trademark of RIM’s ubiquitous BlackBerry.”

Sharp and Carew report, “Early reviews panned the WiFi-only PlayBook for lacking email and organizer applications — the gadget needs a BlackBerry to access those. In a likely blow to RIM, key U.S. carrier AT&T said it will not support the BlackBerry Bridge function that lets the PlayBook mirror a BlackBerry smartphone. AT&T, the second largest U.S. carrier, said it was still testing the secure software… The PlayBook launch was a stark contrast to the frenzy when Apple launched its iPad 2 a month ago and consumers lined up overnight to buy the gadget.”

MacDailyNews Take: They’re still lining up for iPad 2 outside Apple Stores every morning.

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “krquet” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
RIM’s half-CEOs whine: It’s not ‘fair’ that our ‘superior’ tablet is getting bad reviews – April 15, 2011
Pogue reviews RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook: Half-baked, buggy, and missing important features – April 14, 2011
RIM’s half-CEO Lazaridis walks out of BBC interview – April 13, 2011
Research in Motion’s half-CEO admits to being clueless – April 11, 2011
Apple corners market for display panels – April 7, 2011
Apple’s upfront cash payments secure components, blocking out competitors – April 7, 2011
Gassée: ‘The inmates have taken over the asylum’ at BlackBerry-maker RIM – March 28, 2011
Apple to consume majority of touchscreen displays in 2011 and 2012 – March 14, 2011
RIM shares drop as marketing chief leaves company on eve of supposed PlayBook launch – March 4, 2011
Analyst: RIM’s expensive, flawed PlayBook tablet will be poorly received – February 1, 2011
Steve Jobs: I don’t see RIM catching us; Android is a fragmented mess; 7-inch tablets will be DOA – October 18, 2010


    1. Newsflash:

      Today the charitable organization Mops For Industry sent out a record number of buckets and mops to Research In Motion (RIM) after the failed debut of their iPad wannabe device. Cleanup efforts at RIM are under way. Local waste water recycling facilities are refusing to accept hundreds of gallons of blood pouring out of RIM’s offices. 😉

  1. “At an Office Depot in Midtown New York, just three PlayBooks, RIM’s answer to the Apple iPad, left the shelves in the 20 minutes after the store opened,” a store employee said.

    Two possibilities on who those three people are:
    a) RIM plants, or
    b) idiots.
    I think it’s the latter. Come on, I’m sure RIM can find at least 10 plants for a New York store!

    1. Abdullah, I have not really seen any hands on reviews. It is possible that 3 people purchased one so that they could write a review. It could also be a purchase from a local company that uses BlackBerry phones to see if there is anything that they want to support.

      If RIMM is drinking their own Cool-Aid and are delusional, then there are hundreds on the shelf that the 3 were taken from. Why would anyone buy anything that doesn’t exceed the iPad and it’s thousands of apps?

      The fact that RIMM took it to market screams sad desperate and delusional. This is Apple’s market now. Make one for a niche application or control display but don’t think consumers or general companies will see a reason to buy them.

      The battle was over long ago and no one showed up to fight Apple for the tablet market!

    1. You just reminded me of that hilarious BP skit where they were all in a meeting trying to brainstorm solutions to the oil spill. RIM must be the real life version.

    1. Tabernac! That is the universal Quebecois curse that fits any situation. It’s the strongest swear word that can be used.

      When you release a product that’s less than half-baked and you suddenly realize what you have done, Tabernac!

  2. According to this article (in french: you’ll have to trust me!)


    a Sears Store near Montreal had a Special Launch event today for the Playbook and they managed to sell one unit by 14h00 this afternoon. Not bad!…

  3. Playbook launched today? Launch is a pretty strong word. It’s more like those early films of experimental plane “flights.” PlayBook is a LameDuck.

    Still, it sounds like sales are going to be “smooth”. While tablet makers are trying to copy Apple’s device, they are brilliantly staying away from Apple’s not-enough-stock-to-meet-demand boondoggle. By keeping sales slow enough to ensure that everyone who wants one can just walk into Staples or BestBuy and get one, they are sure to keep their customers happy. You can get your email-free, app-less, featureless, calculator/paperweight at you leisure. Winning!!

  4. Playbook launched today? Really? I was at a nearby strip mall and needed some low-tech paper envelopes from Staples. Their front windows had these big signs plaster all over with something like “We have tablets,” or “Tablets are here!” I thought it was for the Xoom but one of the signs said something about the RIM Playbook.

    I went inside and looked all over for the display. What a disappointment: Back out of the high-traffic area near the other slow movers there was one cardboard display unit with a “hands on” PB and Xoom. No one was interested in them.

    When I stole a glance, one of the Best Buy clones came running over (okay, a fast trot anyway) and asked if I wanted a demo. I said no thanks, I had an iPad 2 and I just happend to pass by the display stand. He had the biggest hangdog expression on his face that it was hard to not burst out laughing. He thought he might have had a live one! I didn’t have the heart to ask how many they’ve sold.

    Meanwhile, at the BB a few stores away, where I went to get an iPad stylus, they had a whiteboard listing current inventory (3 32GB wifi whites plus a bunch of gen 1’s). I asked how they were moving and was told that the sell out almost daily.

    That RIM co-CEO team ought to ponder the lack of buzz and no lines of people clamoring to get their hands on one.

    1. if you know four people who bought a playbook today, Marco, then RIM is doing better than MS as I never knew one person who bought a Zune. RIM will sell millions of these things in the first year! 🙂

  5. Exec 1 “let’s just make about 50 of these for the launch”
    Exec 2 “great idea, if we sell all of them, we can say that we can’t keep up with the demand”
    Exec3 ” that sounds great, then we’ll make 50 more and say our factories are cranking them out as fast as possible.
    Exec 2 “when you say factory, you mean Lan Chie, right?”
    Exec 3 “oh yeah, I forget Lan Chie will be on vacation.”
    Exec 1 “Don’t worry, we probably won’t sell 50 anyway.”

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