Analyst Sees BlackBerry PlayBook Buzz Building Ahead of Rumored April Launch
RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook doesn’t yet have a firm price or launch date–though new rumors suggest it may arrive at market by mid-April–but already there is developing demand for it–according to some analysts, anyway.
In a research note issued this morning, Peter Misek of Jeffries said early indications from retailers and others point toward pent-up demand for the device. “We were optimistic about the PlayBook but were still surprised at how positive the feedback has been from the channel and retailers regarding the product,” he writes. “Many view the tethering as a positive since it does not require a separate data plan, and enterprises see it as an easy fit into their existing security and device management protocols.”
Misek, too, expects the PlayBook to launch in April. And he doesn’t seem much bothered by predictions that it will be “dead on arrival.” The PlayBook isn’t going to be a flop, he said. And there are four reasons why:
- It’s effectively a PC category player. Therefore any sales are incremental and importantly create new avenues of growth and expansion.
- It’s been a success with enterprises that have trialed it.
- Its lack of native calendar and email applications isn’t the deficit that it’s been made out to be, since accessing those functions from a browser as one might do on a PC is logical and easy.
- It will account for far less than 10 percent of sales and earnings in even the most optimistic models on the Street.
Plausible reasons, certainly. But ones potentially subsumed by a few remaining wild cards Misek doesn’t note: price (not specified beyond RIM’s co-CEO’s claim of “under $500”), battery life (also not yet specified), the size of the PlayBook’s app ecosystem (will it support Android apps?) and the breadth of its distribution channel.