Consumer Electronics research firm RBC Capital Markets released a startling forecast recently regarding Research In Motion’s (RIM’s) BlackBerry PlayBook. Citing information gleaned from recent surveys, polls and sale data, RBC says they look for RIM to ship 3 to 4 million PlayBooks in the first 12 months after its launch. The PlayBook sold approximately 50,000 units the first 24 hours after launch, and estimates run as high as 500,000 selling in this short fiscal quarter (DigiTimes).
Some of the information RBC used to number-crunch those estimates came from surveys of over 1,000 potential customers that attended CES 2011, with 6% telling RBC they would “probably purchase” the PlayBook. RBC used these and other similar research tools to arrive at the figure of at least 4 million PlayBooks sold in 2011. Mike Abramsky was one of those CES 2011 survey takers, and he told us that over 37% of the respondents stated the ability of the PlayBook to tether wirelessly to the Blackberry smartphones was “very important.”
The PlayBook selling 50,000 units on launch day, and as much as 500,000 units this first shortened fiscal quarter, may not sound like massive Apple-like numbers, but there are approximately 100 tablets it is competing with. Those are pretty impressive numbers with that level of competition. And after a rocky start on the software side of things, and issues with the Android 3.0 Honeycomb OS, biweekly upgrades and Google working on their end of things straightened out the snafus and the PlayBook is selling very well.
The PlayBook is hopefully paving the way for RIM to launch several BlackBerry smartphones in the next couple of months. RIM is hoping that the PlayBook and the new smartphones will feed off of each other, creating dual sales, and the BlackBerry Bridge data share ability will certainly help that effort. The 7 inch Android tablet is multimedia-heavy, and is aimed at those tablet shoppers that consume lots of media, watching movies, playing games and web surfing. The tablet was also designed to be a business professional’s dream device, and has been well received by current BlackBerry owners.