After seeing the Windows 8 introduction yesterday, and pondering its potential for tablets/slates, the question is not whether the RIM PlayBook is going to follow the HP TouchPad into oblivion (i.e., that seems to be a foregone conclusion at this point), but whether any Android tablet/slate will be able to establish significant/sustainable market share before Windows 8 is released. Unless Microsoft blows it on timing or pricing, Windows 8 appears poised to leapfrog into the #1 tablet/slate market position in 2012. Perhaps RIM will adopt the Nokia “burning platform” strategy, and shift to Windows for both smartphones and slates.
The company, which reports earnings tomorrow, probably sold about 490,000 PlayBooks during the first full quarter of sales, according to a Bloomberg survey of analysts, compared with the 9.25 million iPads shipped last quarter. Analysts cut estimates for full-year PlayBook shipments, to an average of 2.2 million, according to the survey.
“RIM overplayed the PlayBook in terms of its sales and prospects,” said Charlie Wolf, an analyst at Needham & Co. in New York. “What this really shows is that the company’s prospects will depend on the next generation of BlackBerrys.”