The BlackBerry PlayBook may not be selling in iPad-like quantities, but Research in Motion says it has shipped more than half a million PlayBooks so far. That’s not bad for product that just went on sale in April, especially one that doesn’t run any of the thousands of third party apps designed for BlackBerry smartphones.
The PlayBook is a 7 inch tablet with a 1024 x 600 pixel display, a 1 GHz Texas Instruments OMAP 4430dual core processor and support for Adobe Flash. It’s the first device to run the new BlackBerry Tablet OS, based on QNX software. Right now there’s a relatively small number of third party apps for the platform, but the PlayBook has some pretty slick first party apps including a decent web browser, good multimedia tools, and a slick multitasking system.
Eventually RIM has promised that the PlayBook will be able to run Google Android apps as well as software designed specifically for the PlayBook. While the tablet doesn’t currently have native calendar, contact, or email applications, you can access those features by pairing the PlayBook with a BlackBerry smartphone. Later this year the company is expected to launch native apps for those functions though.
RIM also shipped about 13.2 million BlackBerry devices during the quarter. Overall the company didn’t have a very good quarter though, and All Things D is reporting that the Research in Motion has lowered its sales forecasts for the rest of the year and expects to layoff workers.