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BlackBerry PlayBook Arrives to Fight iPad, Xoom

We first heard about the PlayBook well over a year ago and the device was first shown off in September of last year. It’s been a long and winding road since then, but the device is finally available for purchase in U.S. and Canadian stores as of today.

The run-up to the availability of this RIM tablet has been peppered with unveiling of many similar (and some quite impressive) devices from competing companies. Of course, the iPad 2 has been out for a while, but customers in the market for a tablet will also be considering the Motorola Xoom, the not-yet-released Asus’ EeePad Transformer, the upcoming Galaxy Tab 10, the LG Optimus Pad, Acer’s new line of tablets, and a whole ream of other slates and tabs either already available or promised for the very near future. To say it's up against some stiff competition would be a huge understatement.

The PlayBook has come under fire for the fact that it won’t be shipping with a native email, contacts or calendar applications. These features are available for users pairing their RIM device with their BlackBerry phone, but those without a BlackBerry will have to wait until RIM release native apps for these missing PIM functions.

Despite this, the Wall Street Journal cites retailers that say the device is seeing ‘steady’ sales. Sears in Toronto told the newspaper that though it didn’t compare to iPad frenzy, there were a handful of people waiting to buy the PlayBook at 7am this morning. Similarly a Best Buy in Boston also said people were waiting outside for the store to open. In the Stapes on Broadway in New York City, all 10 PlayBooks in stock were sold out within a couple of hours. A salesperson told the Wall Street Journal they were placing customer orders online. However, in Akron, Ohio, sales had yet to even start by late morning. Just before noon, a Best Buy situated there told WSJ that despite advance orders, they hadn’t sold a single unit.

Did you buy a BlackBerry PlayBook? Are you also a BlackBerry owner? Let us know in the comments below!

Further Reading

WSJ: BlackBerry PlayBook Sales: Steady, but No Frenzy

  • Marco925
    Despite this, the Wall Street Journal cites retailers that say the device is seeing ‘steady’ sales. Sears in Toronto told the newspaper that though it didn’t compare to iPad frenzy,

    Well of course not! The Blackberry is not magical like the iPad! /Sarcasm
    Reply
  • The PlayBook looks like it will have some success, but the Xoom still remains the best tablet to date.
    Reply
  • pwrntspd
    First of all...STOP WITH THE SPAM...second of all, I think the Playbook has a few advantages over the Xoom namely the price and UI.
    Reply
  • erraticfocus
    hay apple, here is your next target! aim your nuclear powered corporate sue monster at RIM, they just *have* to be copying you somehow right?
    Reply
  • eddieroolz
    My friends that have an iPad2 got invited to try out the Playbook first hand today. They were rather impressed, it seems.

    Oh, and Tom's...seriously do something about spam. You're making this site look like a joke.
    Reply
  • I purchased a PlayBook today and love it. It pairs very well (and quickly) with my BlackBerry phone and I have access to email, etc., plus internet browsing without WiFi if I'm in an area without WiFi, with no additional data plan. Several of my friends played with it and liked the size. They don't have BlackBerrys but weren't concerned about using a browser to access Gmail; it was a non-issue for them. I definitely prefer not having a native email client because I don't want to be syncing mail three ways (PC, phone, tablet). The user interface is just beautiful and fast. I know that people who are fanatics about iPhones and iPads will want to tear this comment apart. You can do that, but some day you will learn that more than one company can create a beautiful and state-of-the-art product.
    Reply
  • jerreece
    Already bought the Motorola Xoom WiFi. Works fantastic. Honestly no need for a laptop. Photos, Email, Video, Internet, Games, whatever I want. :)

    I think I heard Blackberry touting the upcoming Playbook all the way back to a year ago. To be quite honest, I never cared enough to even look into what it was until recently. But that was after I already purchased my Xoom. It's all good though, because my next phone will be a Droid too.

    Will have a Blackberry Tour to sell in a month if anyone wants. :)
    Reply
  • Griffolion
    padamssmI purchased a PlayBook today and love it. It pairs very well (and quickly) with my BlackBerry phone and I have access to email, etc., plus internet browsing without WiFi if I'm in an area without WiFi, with no additional data plan. Several of my friends played with it and liked the size. They don't have BlackBerrys but weren't concerned about using a browser to access Gmail; it was a non-issue for them. I definitely prefer not having a native email client because I don't want to be syncing mail three ways (PC, phone, tablet). The user interface is just beautiful and fast. I know that people who are fanatics about iPhones and iPads will want to tear this comment apart. You can do that, but some day you will learn that more than one company can create a beautiful and state-of-the-art product.
    Glad you're enjoying it, i think you're using it exactly the way RIM wants you to, with your BB phone attached etc. But i feel the reduced functionality in the absence of a BB phone makes it less appealing to the demographic outside of owning a BB phone.
    Reply
  • Parsian
    what is the hardware spec?

    Reply
  • house70
    Tom's looks more and more like a trading place for counterfeit goods.

    How difficult is it to implement a filter that eliminates multiple uses of the $ or a website?
    And also, automatically banning the OP so they can't go ahead and spam other sections of the website?

    They took a real "positive" approach by breaking the voting system, so not even the other commentators can "ban" the spammers with their negative votes. That was "smart" .....
    Reply