∞ Pictures of the line-up for the RIM PlayBook

Today is the big day for RIM. They are betting the company on the PlayBook tablet, and today it’s available in stores.

[ad#Google Adsense 300×250 in story]I’ll admit that where I live isn’t a hotbed of technology like Silicon Valley, but we know our devices like most other communities in North America. I live in a city of about 450,000 people, so there should be lots of interest in a new tech gadget.

When a new iPhone goes on sale, there are line-ups at most of the stores that sell it. The iPad and iPad 2 were the same — line-ups when it was released.

I decided to stop by one of the local electronics resellers — perhaps one of the biggest in Canada — to get a picture of the line-up of people waiting to get their hands on the PlayBook.

Obviously, not that good.

Then I realized that it’s probably because most people pre-ordered the PlayBook. Clearly, they wouldn’t need to line-up outside if they pre-ordered. So, I asked the sales team.

They indicated that there have been no pre-orders for the PlayBook in that store or any others that they were aware of. I checked a number of other stores too — no lines, no pre-orders.

Not a booming start for PlayBook sales.

  • Okay, what city do you live in? Do you have pictures from the day of iPad release? AFAIK, there is no culture of standing in lines in Canada, except in Toronto and Vancouver. You might see very small lines in the EVENING for boxing day sales and that’s it. I would say, you must have got a picture of the same store from the day of iPad 2 release. I bet it would have been same. Stop being such an Apple fan boy and stop writing fake news.

    • Why are you defending an inferior product? Because it’s NOT made by Apple?

      My small town that has an Apple Store in Ontario had line ups all day for the iPad 2 release. I guarantee there’s no line up anywhere for the PlayBook today.

      And don’t underestimate the line ups for Boxing Day sales, they’re not nearly as minuscule as you make them out to be. Especially when the line ups make the nightly news EVERY year.

      • Graciela

        There are no small towns with Apple Stores in Ontario…where are you referring to?

    • You’re so right! Obviously he took a picture of the store when there was actually an extremely long line for the PlayBook. They were just right next to the store instead of in front of the door, so he cropped it out to make it look like there were no lines and then posted it on the internet to falsely claim there were no lines for the PlayBook. Don’t you just HATE fanboys?!

    • Barry

      Line-ups for new Apple releases in Calgary all the time at both stores.

    • Okay, I live in a town of 35000 population and we had line ups at futureshop for playbook.

      • mt

        A line up of 35,000 people? Too bad Waterloo is a crappy place to live.

      • Scruff

        Pictures or it didn’t happen.

    • Anonymous

      Grow up, boy, and learn some manners. Jim is a reputable reporter and doesn’t do that sort of thing.

    • Anonymous

      Geeky, to this day there are still early lines at a lot of Apple stores trying to get an iPad 2. The reviews of the playbook are terrible. The article was teasing RIM, but here they deserve it.

    • Chris Marriott

      There were 80 people in line at a local Apple retailer down the street from us. There were lineups at every retail location in this city of 450,000 people for every iPhone release, iPad and iPad 2. If you’re making an argument, wanting pictures of lineups for Apple devices, then you’re just desperate. Read a headline or two.

    • Gustav

      That’s bull. There are lineups in Ottawa for the iPad 2.

      Lighten up. This isn’t meant to be taken so seriously.

    • His Shadow

      I stood in line with about 120 other people for my iPhone 4. My friend in Calgary stood in line for 5 hours with about 200 people. There were lines for days outside the Apple stores when the handsets dried up at all the carriers stores.

  • Is RIM really betting the company on the playbook. It feels more like a they “Apple” have one so the market thinks we need one too.

    • Exactly. Apple makes Macs too, so why isn’t RIM getting into the PC market?

    • mt

      Apparently they’ve taken development resources away from their bread-and-butter (phones) in order to catch up to the iPad.

  • RattyUK

    ATT are blocking tethering from the playbook to Blackberry devices… If you know how the Playbook is supposed to work you might realize that ATT have effectively crippled the device as a “serious” tablet… Not that it was all that serious in the first place.

    • Nocfury

      Tethering not required, but tons of misinformation out there to be corrected for sure: http://www.berryreview.com/2011/04/15/blackberry-bridge-is-one-of-the-best-playbook-features-here-is-why/

      Having an an iPad2 (which as any intelligent human being I certainly did NOT wait in line for, after the first day I walked right into a Best Buy and picked one of the hundreds off a shelf – ignore the “nightclub line-up” hype, it’s actually empty inside) I was curious about the Playbook. Have to say the negative reviews have me confused as it’s a substantially better device and I’ll likely sell my iPad as soon as the Playbook apps catch up with it’s unbelievably fast and efficient multitasking hardware+OS combo. Apparently the OS they bought powers the shuttle, highspeed trains, factories and nuclear power stations? Awesome! Makes my poor little iPad OS look archaic, hope Apple responds with something good.

  • Martyn
  • Anonymous

    Maybe this is what happens when you decide to give your company two CEOs…. They spend more time blowing smoke and inventing spin than they do building product that people actually want to buy. This whole thing is so bizarre, I’m expecting to be beheaded by the Red Queen any minute now…

  • mt

    Didn’t know Jim was from Canada. Is this west coast or east?

    • Anonymous

      I believe he is on the east coast in Halifax. I’m in Vancouver and no lineups at any of the Future Shops or Best Buy’s I’ve driven by this morning, and there were lineups at all 3 of these stores on iPad launch day.

      • mt

        Looks like dreary and rainy Vancity… 😛

        • Anonymous

          It does, it really does…

        • Gustav

          This is the Halifax Future Shop.

      • Jim’s Canadian citizenship is up for grabs. He hates the Habs and does not follow the Leafs. In Canada, you have to choose one or the other.

        • I’d write more. But don’t want to lose my place in the lineup for the PB.

          • mt

            Good luck brave soul! I have no idea how you can stomach the elbows-to-gut push-and-shove of such a spectacle. Brave one, you are.

        • mt

          What??!! He must be an illegal then! Send him back to Silicon Implant Valley immediately! Someone growlnotify the mounties!

          Ah, he must be waiting for the imminent purchase and import of one Phoenix Coyotes before he reveals his true allegiance! Clever man that Jim. A true poker star.

        • Steven Fisher

          If by “Canada” you mean “Ontario/Quebec.”

    • Isn’t Canada just North! =)

  • Hilarious Jim. Priceless photo!!

  • So, did they in fact have PlayBooks on display ?

    • Yesterday, the staff at Staples all wore yellow T-shirts promoting the PB. This morning, I saw multiple PBs in the windows of various stores. Personally, as a Canadian, I don’t want to see this flop completely. But even if it does, RIM can still recover. After all, they (somewhat) made up for the Storm with a decent (but middling) Torch. They should really focus on porting QNX to the BBs, in parallel with cleaning up the PB.

      To really make the PB a hit, they need music apps, so as to pitch it as … PB & Jam. :-p

  • I imagine Jth9234 will be along any minute to harangue passers-by outside that Future Shop with long lectures about their poor choices in consumer electronics.

    • Jth9234

      No one ever gets amped for Blackberry releases why should this be any different? They still move millions of phones a quarter though and have a larger user base than almost anyone. Just selling to people that don’t let waiting in lines dominate their lives.

      I hardly think a media blitz of Steve Jobs on stage dressed in black and building the suspense for blind yet allegiant Apple fanboys announcing a new product can be done by anyone else. Apple fans are a different breed, where logic, practicality, and reason go out the window.

      I am looking forward to the laughable media hype of the iPhone5! What will they announce next? Whatever it is, Apple fanatics and shills in the media will act like its the most life changing device ever made!!! What will it be? A smart cover for a phone? A gyroscope? 4G network that makes the phone battery even worse than now? Facetime on a 3G or 4G network? It has an app that starts your car, changes tv channels, raises your garage door, scans your colon for cancer, tests your fertility, and can take your temperature!

      Anecdotal pictures, stories of empty stores doesn’t mean RIM won’t move millions of these things. It just means if you want it, you can actually go to the store and buy it. I still think there will be a large enough user base for the Playbook eventually…

      • kibbles

        accidental like.

        on RIM’s platform of millions:


        …read it. and note the declining new customers per device sold and declining revenue per device. downward spiral, my friend.

      • kibbles

        on RIM’s platform:


        …read it. note the declining new subscribers per device sold, and the declining revenue per device sold. downward spiral, my friend.

  • Rod Macintosh

    Hilarious…..still chuckling….

  • BoredInOttawa

    From Ottawa, home of QNX, bought by RIM to do the Playbook OS, once one of Canada’s dominant high tech towns, and now fading fast into a miserable government jobs only black hole, I drove past BestBuy, FutureShop and Staples…

    No lineups.

    There is a review in CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corp) news today about the Playbook: as brutal as last weeks reviews.

  • STL

    RIM deserves all the ripping they get. After months of ballyhooing their Playbook and trash talking iDevices what they deliver gets worse reviews than a POS. 2 technology clueless CEOs that just blow smoke or blow off steam by terminating interviews when the questions get tough. It appears the Playbook is DOA. My guess is the CEOs are going soon.

    • They won’t go. And they shouldn’t have to. The company is their baby. Plus, if nothing else, they have proven themselves to be stubborn and determined, which is not necessarily a bad thing.

  • I count at least three emails from Staples over this past month or two, heralding tablets that few consumers will want. The latest one links to a series of videos in which Staples tells us why tablets like the Tab or the Xoom or the Streak or the Playbook are awesome, and how all the things they can do will make our lives better.

    Sign me up.

  • Anonymous

    I looked and played with the Playbook today at The Source here in Vancouver, and I have to say apart from the missing crucial items: Mail, Contacts, you know the kind of stuff that would really make it a really versatile device, the interface is pretty good. The screen quality is great, and the form-factor is much better than I thought it would be. And as ridiculous as it might sound I really do prefer the non-slip back to the aluminum of my iPad 2 without a case. I can see if they evolve this thing a little more, it may make further inroads then a lot of people thought, but out of the gate it is still missing the necessities…. They told me there was 1 customer waiting for them to open today to buy one, but that was it.

  • Anonymous

    The problem with all non-iPads is that people only want an iPad, there isn’t a market for “tablets”. There never has been, just go ask Microsoft.

    Everyone jumped into the tablet market only because Apple has had success with their device. Period.

    This market is going to resemble the media player market; Apple and everyone else.

    • Mattock


      • Steve

        You mean the media player market of Sony Walkman and everyone else? Or the smartphone market of Blackberry and everyone else? Oh, right, no, once something better comes along it’s over pretty quickly. iPod launched with a slew of problems (battery, overheating, crashing) but still toppled Sony. iPhone launched without COPY AND PASTE or basic computing functions (many of which it still lacks and frustrate me to no end) and still knocked down the rest. Unbelievable you people – the state of human intellect is VERY scary right now.

        I have an iPad2 and after having played with the Playbook it’s obvious RIM has just clearly made a superior device. Or maybe they bought one by buying QNX, who cares. With it’s incredible speed, screen, secure enterprise-class bridge, and real multi-tasking it’s not even in the same category as the iPad, it’s a completely different and far more professional grade product that Apple will really have to respond to if it wants to continue to dominate.

        If you don’t like what’s hot in technology, just wait a minute.

        • Mattock

          Here is what happened: RIM launched a tablet and the world didn’t care.

        • Anonymous

          “You mean the media player market of Sony Walkman and everyone else? Or the smartphone market of Blackberry and everyone else?”

          I believe the original poster clearly stated media player market.

          “iPod launched with a slew of problems (battery, overheating, crashing) but still toppled Sony.”

          The iPod did not launch with a slew of problems. Sony’s success was with the cassette based Walkman product years ago. They tried to re-enter the market long after the iPod was successful and tried to force users to use their proprietary Atrac format. It was doomed from the start.

          “iPhone launched without COPY AND PASTE… “

          True. You’d have a point if the iPhone was just like every other phone except that it missed significant functionality. However, you failed to acknowledge the bigger picture here in that the iPhone revolutionized the user interface for such devices. You also failed to acknowledge that when Apple did deliver cut and paste, they provided an implementation that is still the best today.

          “Unbelievable you people – the state of human intellect is VERY scary right now.”

          It’s more like your selective memory and revisionist history is a bit scary.

          “I have an iPad2 and after having played with the Playbook it’s obvious RIM has just clearly made a superior device.”

          Where can I buy some of the crack you’ve been smoking? I’m clearly missing some of the fun… 😉

        • kibbles

          yes, steve, clearly obvious a better product….barf. look — my dad doesnt give two whiffs about “true multitasking”, whatever that means to you. he cares about being able to open multiple apps and occasionally switch between them (almost always by going Home and re-tapping the other app).

  • Crashnoww

    hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! u just made my day!

  • Stop Press.. RIM Playbook has the lowest support costs.. RIM have announced that the new Playbook has required no support telephone calls since it was launched leading them to speculate that it is their most successful product ever from a customer satisfaction viewpoint.

  • The challenge for RIM is that a large part of their sales are driven by corporate buyers and with the increasing trend of the consumerization of IT (where end users bring their favorite devices into the organization and ask for support), that does not bode well for RIM. Or any other device manufacturer that was the darling of IT staffs but unappreciated by end-users.

  • Jetsme

    The PlayBook is available at 20,000 locations! Why would there be any line ups?

    • Anonymous

      The iPad 2 was available at a similar number of locations on launch. Apple Stores, Target, Walmart, Best Buy, Verizon, AT&T all had it.

      Though if the Playbook was at 20,000 locations and they sold 50,000 on launch day, that is just 2.5 or less customers per site. Probably less since pre-orders counted for most of the sales. Of course there wouldn’t be any lines.

      • Jetsme

        There were only line ups at Apple Stores and there are only 300 such stores worldwide. No wonder there were line ups.

        You don’t think RIM could sell some PlayBooks to their 60 million BlackBerry users? Please…

        • silencets

          There were lineups at ALL locations for the iPad. All those listed DID have lineups, not just Apple stores. Genius.


  • Jth9234

    Yes, RIM has lost market share, but like it or not in the here and now they still have more active smartphones out there in user base than Apple or any single Android based manufacturer (Samsung, Motorola, HTC, etc.)

    The Playbook launch already has a lot of hiccups, not necessarily RIM’s fault but corporate greed and fascism. AT&T is screwing over American BB users blocking Bridge. Netflix and Hule have blocked their sites?

    Its as if its RIM vs. the world. Release a tablet with high performance and Flash support and BB tethering, only to have every company block your devices built in features? It almost seems unfair, like they want to see the iPad dominate? I don’t get it?

    So even if you build a better device, the whole corporate universe will support Apple to make your product gimped by denying built in features? WTF?

    • silencets

      When trying to decide on whether to bet on RIM or World…

      bet on the World, and double down if you can.

  • Jth9234

    OK, tried out the PB at Best Buy, people there know nothing. But here are my quick impressions of it, I am an AT&T customer, but used the work around by dl OTA BB Bridge on my BB Torch 9800. So I was ready to try out the Playbook in BB and test some things.

    First off, Bridge is good, the connection is immediate if you turn it on your BB. I can see why AT&T is pissy though, its not just using a weaker BB Torch Webkit Browser built into their phone. No, its using the “Bridge Browser” on the PB. So it supports Flash!!! Something no BB I know of currently does. Its was working great, the blue light was blinking on my BB when the connection is made.

    Then I tried turning off the WiFi on the PB. The Bridge app running on its own was sluggish, but everything worked on the Bridge Browser that works on the regular PB browser, but slower by a wide margin and even a bit buggy. I think it does need to be tweaked a little if this is what AT&T blocked. I am crossing my fingers thats all AT&T is up to, but I think the cynics and realists in all of us realize what AT&T might really be trying to do in coming up with a pricing plan for such a wonderful feature that is free for everyone else.

    Also Hulu was blocked. I didn’t try Netflix. Overall though, I have to say I was impressed, but as an AT&T customer, I am taking a wait and see approach. If all they do is “test” and improve the Bridge app, I would buy this tablet in a second.

    Is it as good as the iPad2 right now? I would have to say not quite, but really it all just a matter of polish in software. Update the software just a bit, which is very doable, yes, then this does have the potential to be the best tablet on the market.

    If they do tweak the Bridge app and it is offered for free as it was designed to be, as a jaded American electronic consumer sick of these carrier data scams, this device is fantastic. The web browsing in WiFi mode was excellent, the UI took me a few minutes to get used to, but was also excellent. The sound was suprisingly good too.

    The cameras were nothing special, but I never really thought the first iPad’s lack of camera was as big a deal as many made it out to be. I hardly use my phone camera, when am I gonna use a tablet camera???

    As for criticisms of the power button, I thought it was great, you won’t accidentally turn off or turn on the device the way its built. Yet it works fine.

    Overall its not quite an iPad2 (yet!), but if the Bridge issue just gets tweaked and continues to be free, this thing could be a game changer where too many are getting nickeled and dimed and have to resort to risky “jailbreaking”, “rooting”, etc. all to do things with their portable devices that should be included.

    • Did you ask how they’re selling?

  • silencets

    You so funny!

    Most best buy’s have had a max of 10 to 20 at launch, and now have stock of about 3 if any. The problem with the playbook is not the hardware, but the software. Or the lack thereof. Why don’t you open the Native email client and send me a message sometime?

    Oh yeah….RIM didn’t ship it with one.