Saturday, May 21, 2011

Big box retailer reports BlackBerry PlayBook sales miss internal target by 90 percent

A report says that at least one big-box retailer isn't too happy with sales of RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. According to the information, PlayBook sales at this particular retailer missed the company's internal sales targets by more than 90 percent.

In addition, return rates on the device are very high. According to the source, the rates are "much higher" than those of the Motorola Xoom, which the source said had a high return rate of its own at 7 percent.

The report is somewhat strange, as some analysts have said that PlayBook sales are quite good. Meanwhile, in response to the report, RIM issued the following statement:
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.”
Of course, that just means that Best Buy isn't the source of the information. The PlayBook is being sold at a number of other big box retailers, however, including Office Depot, OfficeMax, Radio Shack and Staples, and any one of them could have an employee who leaked the bad news.

In addition, last week RIM had to recall nearly 1,000 PlayBooks that had been shipped to Staples. RIM said that those recalled PlayBooks were shipped with "an OS build that may result in the devices being unable to properly load software upon initial set-up."

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