I decided not to post the surprisingly vague rumor by BGR this morning about “BlackBerry PlayBook sales miss targets by over 90% at major retailer, ‘much higher’ return rate than XOOM.” It seemed to be either a clever ploy to get RIM to respond with the actual sales figures or simply an unsubstantiated rumor from a “trusted source from a major big box retailer.” The brilliance of it was that it put RIM in a pickle.
RIM either had to respond to the rumor or let it stand. If they let it stand then it would be assumed that the rumor is correct or nearly so. If they responded with actual sales figures then they would be “commenting on rumors” which they always say they don’t do. With those choices in front of them it seems like they took a little bit of each. They responded to the rumor without sales figures.
Here is what they had to say to the BGR about their rumor:
The source of the reported comment is anonymous and unknown to RIM, but the comment is certainly inconsistent with the positive feedback we have received from our main retail partners. As previously indicated, RIM will provide a business update on BlackBerry PlayBook results on June 16.
For reference, here is a public statement recently offered by Best Buy:
“Best Buy has had great success selling BlackBerry smartphones in North America, so our sales expectations for the BlackBerry PlayBook were very high. To date, we have far exceeded those expectations and we’re finding that customers are even more interested in purchasing once they’ve tested the PlayBook in the store.”
Anybody else waiting for June 16th to hear more? What do you think? Could it simply be that this “big box retailer” is not one of RIM’s “Main partners”?