In a research note sent to clients, RBC Capital Markets analyst Mike Abramsky is reporting that Research in Motion (RIM) has sold 250,000 Playbooks since its launch on April 19th.

The tablet computer went on-sale April 19th at more than 20,000 retail locations in the United States and Canada, just days after the launch of the Motorola android powered Xoom tablet and three weeks after the launch of the Apple iPad 2 tablet.

The RBC report says RIM is seeing steady sales and could sell as many as a half million units in its first three months of sale. Abramsky says this would make the Playbook a bigger seller than Motorola's Google Android-powered Xoom tablet but still pale in comparison to the iPad which sold 4.7 million units is its last quarter.

To gauge sales, RBC checked 180 Best Buys and found that 14% of the their 16GB versions had been sold versus 71% and 84% sold for the 32 and 64GB versions respectively.


The Playbook sports a seven inch touchscreen (1,024 x 600 pixels), a 1GHz dual-core processor, a gigabyte of RAM, and runs on the QNX operating system.

Additional features of the tablet include: a 5 MP rear camera; a 3 MP front camera; HTML5-capable browser; 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi; Bluetooth 2.1 +EDR; Adobe Flash 10.1 support; MP3/AAC/WMA audio playback; H.264, MPEG4, and WMV, HDMI video output; Micro USB, Micro HDMI, and DLNA media streaming.

Like the Apple iPad with WiFi that it competes against, the BlackBerry Playbook with Wi-Fi is available in three memory configurations 16GB, 32GB and 64GB for $499, $599 and $699 respectively. The Motorola Xoom with Wifi is only available in 32GB and will sell for $599.

Unlike the iPad and Motorola, the Playbook does not have a 3G model therefore it must tether with a smartphone in order to access a cellular network.

Discuss the RIM Playbook, Motorola Xoom and Apple iPad 2 in Digital Home Canada's Smartphone and Tablet forum .