The proof of the PlayBook is in the numbers...

You have to feel a bit sorry for RIM sometimes. The Canadian company revolutionised the phone market with the BlackBerry a decade ago, but in the last couple of years they've been seen as stumbling to keep up with the iPhone. Everything was supposed to change with the release of their tablet, the PlayBook, a couple of weeks ago. But the PlayBook got mixed reviews, and the CEO got angry at a BBC reporter, and the whole thing seemed to attract the dreaded stink of failure.

But! Rumours of the PlayBook's stillbirth may have been greatly exaggerated. It's sales that matter in the end, after all, not reviews, and the PlayBook reportedly sold a very respectable 45,000 units on day one. That's 25,000 people who had pre-ordered, and another 20,000 who rocked up to shops and actually bought the thing.

Now, this doesn't come anywhere near the iPad 2 launch, which saw the usual queues of glass-eyed Apple addicts camped outside Apple Stores around the world. But it's actually pretty OK, and impressive compared to Motorola's Xoom, which apparently sold just 100,000 in its first six weeks.

That doesn't mean the PlayBook will carve out a big niche for itself in the market, but it sure looks like it's not going to be a disaster. So let's go easy on RIM for a while, yeah?

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