The Blackberry Playbook has received plenty of press since it was first announced but that press has not created the type of sales figures maker Research In Motion would have hoped to grab. Scott Sutherland of Wedbush Securities in a research note estimates that the company will move just 450,000 units by the time their Spring quarter ends at the end of May. With that figure Sutherland also expects the company to move 2.3 million PlayBooks by the end of the organizations fiscal year in February 2012.
Along with that prediction his research points to several reasons for the lack of sales including the need to use BlackBerry Bridge to get e-mail and the lack of “carrier support” which has left customers hesitant to pick up the PlayBook. Even after a decent time in wide release AT&T is still working on support while Verizon hasn’t signed onto the device at this time.
If those numbers are correct it could mean that the PlayBook could eclipse the Motorola Xoom which sold 250,000 Xooms in the first month of sales, but still places sales figures lower than hoped for.
The number of sales is hard to predict as Electronista points out:
Analyst checks are difficult to gauge and are only sometimes precise, but they can give an indication of early reactions from the public and confidence in the company’s direction. Officially, RIM has rejected talk of low sales but has declined to quantify data until its quarterly results on June 16.
It will be interesting to see how sales may pick up if Blackberry can get their Playbook to work with their regular email support while gaining carrier acceptance of the device.