Determined to actually drive some good publicity for itself, Research in Motion has announced that more than a million Playbook tablets have made their way to end users, a little over a year after it was first introduced to the market. Of course, at this point RIM is losing money on every Playbook it sells, and probably isn’t making that money back on apps and content, so the good news only goes so far.
The Playbook launched in February 2011, which the cheapest model available for around $500. People praised RIM for finally implementing a brand new operating system that didn’t look like a 1990s smartphone, but that praise was overshadowed by rampant criticism for some of the most basic oversights – like the fact that the Playbook didn’t even have a calendar or contacts app unless you linked it to a Blackberry phone.
Over time, the Playbook’s reputation was so poor that RIM started selling it for as low at $199, and even gave away massive amounts of them to developers that showed interest in developing Playbook apps. Now, the Playbook allows users to download some Android apps because of the pitiful amount of content on the device. RIM doesn’t really have a great strategy for monetizing the device once it gets into a customer’s hand, and that has been the real killer.