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RIM Playbook hits the stores

Research in Motion’s much discussed Playbook goes on sale in the United States and in Canada today. RIM are hoping this will be a big seller, especially as they have placed a lot of time and resources into the development.

RIM’s BlackBerry smartphone has struggled to compete against Apple’s iPhone and a new range of devices running Google’s Android operating system are continually eating away at their market share.

Sadly the Playbook has been launched amidst rather negative reviews from many publications which highlight some glaring flaws, such as a lack of application support and missing email and organiser applications. More positively, Staples and Best Buy are reporting solid pre-orders for the launch.

20,000 stores across the US and Canada will stock the PlayBook at launch, and it is also going to be sold separately to enterprises. To put things into perspective however RIM are expecting to sell 3 million PlayBooks in 2011, while Apple sold 15 million iPads last year.

Al Hilwa, a Seattle-based analyst at IDC. said “It’s not going to be in the same league as the iPad. The question is will it sell more than the Xoom but less than the Galaxy.”

Kitguru says: Analysts are saying that the Playbook could be competitive even with a slow start. Gartner estimate that one in 10 touchscreen devices sold in 2015, or some 30 million will be powered by QNX, which is also likely to find its way onto its smartphones in the next 12 months.

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