There’s an interesting story going around today that Blackberry might be about to cancel the Playbook. Boy Genius Reports have found an analyst who is predicting just that. The analyst expects Blackberry to kill off the Playbook shortly after Blackberry releases its quarterly report on Thursday.
Wedge Partners analyst Brian Blair sees nothing but doom and gloom in the future of the Playbook. “Last quarter RIM talked about shipping 500,000 units but did not speak of sell-through for obvious reasons,” he wrote in a note to investors on Wednesday. “Channel fill could turn up another decent shipment number this year in the 500,000 – 700,000 unit range but we believe sell-through has been weak enough that that number will trend down over the year and RIM will likely send the PlayBook into the same graveyard as the HP TouchPad.”
The Playbook, which launched in April, is reportedly seeing poor sales. This 7″ tablet runs Blackberry’s own QNX operating system, and it’s designed to work closely with existing Blackberry. With a retail of $500, its smaller size and high price probably hampered what little success the Playbook could have had.
Whenever I heard it discussed, most people assumed that the primary Playbook customer would be an existing Blackberry owner. Well, that’s a fairly small group of people, and a significantly number will opt to spend their money on an iPad, instead.
I would not be surprised if the Playbook is cancelled, but I will regret it. I’ve been a fan of Blackberry ever since I saw this Playbook commercial: