Few queues as RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook arrives in stores in US and Canada
Wednesday 20 April 2011
Canadian telecommunication and wireless device maker Research In Motion (RIM) hit the launch button on its newest gadget, a seven-inch tablet called the BlackBerry Playbook.
The $499 iPad competitor arrived in stores across the US and Canada April 19 with little fanfare, however sales were reported to be "steady" at most outlets.
"We didn’t have a huge line up, as we had a lot of pre-booked orders, and we’re seeing steady traffic through the day," said Steve Coffin, manager at the Canadian electronics retailer Future Shop, to the Wall Street Journal.
Technology website Wired reported that PlayBook sales were, "for the most part, underwhelming."
After purchasing the tablet, smartphone users on American network carrier AT&T discovered that a major feature of the tablet, BlackBerry Bridge, is not currently available on their network.
BlackBerry Bridge is a feature that connects RIM’s tablet with a BlackBerry smartphone and provides secure access to the device's email, contacts, calendar, memo pad and BlackBerry Messenger.
"If the bridge isn't available, the device is useless to me," "Someone better make this right, without the Bridge App, a HUGE portion of the functionality that made the PlayBook different is gone!" complained people in the comments section on BlackBerry-centric blog CrackBerry.com.
RIM has a lot riding on the release of its PlayBook tablet but so far the tablet has struggled to win the hearts and fingertips of reviewers. Early reports suggest RIM is racing its tablet to the market prematurely in fear of missing out on the tablet craze.
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