Lineups Are a Poor Litmus Test for Interest in BlackBerry PlayBook


Several media outlets are viewing the BlackBerry Playbook launch as lackluster because of the absence of a big consumer lineup.

Quarter after quarter, RIM sells devices to over 10 million customers without fanfare or extra wait in line for their early adopters. It seems strange that it is now the standard in which gadget launches are graded. Judging a device launch based on it’s surrounding hype is like deciding the results of an election based on exit polls. These first few months of getting the Playbook in the hands of consumers and developers publishing software will slowly reveal to the public the true potential of the Playbook.

I don’t interpret “BlackBerry amplified” as being a typical tablet experience. Now that the BlackBerry Playbook has launched, people will slowly come to realize how unlike a large connected iPod it really is.

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  • florencio

    IPAD2 release in afternoon 5PM, every apple fanboys are awake that time and fanboys don’t have preorder option. The situation is different in Playbook, where more of their customers are employed working professionals, usually just preordered the unit.

  • Kyle McInnes

    I like your point that the mainstream media thinks this is the new standard for gadget success. It’s just a different marketing strategy.

    Take for example how Apple runs WWDC. It sells out within a day not necessarily because of the overwhelming demand, but because of planned scarcity. Apple could easily open their conference to far more attendees, but they don’t because it generates hype.

    Apple is great at that, generating hype. The mainstream media needs to realize they’re just being patsies for that marketing machine and they’re not seeing through the fog properly. They need to step back and look at the tablet market, not anecdotes.

  • Ian Mascarenhas

    Apple are a marketing company, they made it look like they invented tablets even though they been around for over 10 years. Without pre ordering as an option and only available at Apple stores at initial release of course there is no option but to line up. The playbook is available in plenty of locations and stores with pre orders in place for a couple of weeks. Why would I waste my time lining up? Companies will order in bulk in the near future

  • Caspan

    I love how Apple fans uses this as a level to measure success. Yeah it’s cool to see tons of people line up for the same thing as you but I can guarantee you that 99% of those people are just wanting their damn product that Apple is on purpose dangling in front of their nose! For company use we went out yesterday and was able to buy 3 PlayBooks on launch day. People will say well thats because no one wants a PlayBook, to that I say exactly what is written in the article, RIM is selling these devices some how and is is in the top 3 seller of devices so how is that possible when no one wants them? I use an analogy to people that ask me this question, it goes like so,

    lets for 1 minute say Apple and RIM are even on selling devices, they are close currently but for this example lets just say they are even, and every year they are very close to each other no matter who is in the lead but lets say over the last 2 years they have been close which is not far of the truth either.

    Now let me ask you this questions, you are hungry and you have a meal card that gives you access to eat food. When you use it you get just under what you really need to be 100% full. You will still survive but you are always left wanting more, just another 3-5 bites would make you full, but the food looks 2 times better then what everyone else is eating its the same food but your it just prepared to look better. Now a year goes by after buying this meal card and a new version of the meal card is available which gives you more food but you have to buy a new meal card to allow you to get this new one. So because you are starving you think this is a great idea to buy it again and you will not be hungry anymore. So you line up because you need this extra food, and so does everyone else. Oh and sorry if you are more hungry then the guy beside you because you both get the same amount no matter what your needs are. You get some of the best fancy utensils to eat your food with because well you have to have utensils or else eating would suck. Remember the first 2 weeks there are only 1 million cards to be sold even though they could have made enough to sell one to everyone. So if you are hungry you better get a new one or else you will have to wait almost 4 weeks if you want one.

    This is Apple and how they operate. They always leave you wanting more, food is great but is always not enough, you are starving by the next time they decide to give you more.

    On the other side you have a company that gives you exactly what you need, you buy a meal card from them and you get choices, you have the option if you need less food you can buy a smaller portion if you want a larger portion you have that option to. The problem is you only get regular utensils to eat your food with. They work exactly the same as the fancy ones but they are just normal. Best part is at the end of the day you are full. When this company comes out with a new meal card a year later which also gives you more food exactly the same as the other company people are excited but not like the people that are starving, all the people that have last years meal card would like to upgrade to get the new one with a different kid of food or something that makes them want to switch to the new card. The difference is there is no rush for them, they are full, the choice to upgrade is in their hands they have no need to upgrade. So here comes the day that the doors open to sell the new meal card, there is not many people in line, why? because well they don’t need to be! But over the year people do want change so they will decide to buy the new meal card but on their own time when they want it.

    This is how RIM operates they don’t starve their customers they give you exactly what you want and give you the choice.

    Who would you buy a meal card from?

  • Jeff Peck

    I beleive the fact that Apple sold more than 15 million iPads is what most people measure as a success.
    Lines are an indication of customer loyalty and perceived value.
    Just curious, how many Playbooks have been pre-ordered?
    It will also be interesting to see how many units they sell in the first 80 days.
    Apple sold 3 million ipads in the first 80 days.
    Oh, wait.
    That’s probably not a true measure of success either…

  • Caspan

    You’re correct its not. It shows they sold a lot at launch what about the other 11 months? You can’t just take the best of something to prove it you have to take the whole! Its like being a good employ 1 month out of 12 it was great for that 1 month but what about the other 11? Apple does good but just like I posted they level off and sell less then most sell at a constant rate that is higher. So when it comes down to it they had a great launch but is not a measure of its over all success that is measured by over all year sales that takes everything into account.

  • Angryshortguy

    Total sales of 15 million, minus first 80 days sales of 3 million, leaves 12 million for the remaining 11 months.

    So for the first three months, they sold 1 million per month.
    For the next 11 months, they sold 1.1 million per month.

    But I’m sure RIM will sell more than that the first month out.
    My boss bought three today.

  • Mfskier

    I bought two on launch day – they were pre-ordered. I like RIM’s strategy of ample supply. I agree that it appears to be an Apple tactic to constrain supply. There’s no question that at outset the PlayBook is a winner (if you own a BlackBerry). I am blown away by the UI and the navigation model. I am equally blown away how easy the bridge was to setup and really impressed with the Flash integration in the WiFi Browser.

    Out of the box the does pretty much everthing I would want it to do. I didn’t buy it for games, but an app like Skype and the imminent release of native Facebook and Twitter apps will really push it over the top for many users.

    Gmail users can get at their email still, but native email/calendar/contacts can’t be far off. I see a general buzz being created by real users and not fanboys that don’t even have the device. Momentum will grow, sales will be steady and PlayBook will eventually be a force to be reckoned with.

    Remember the tortoise and the hare?