BlackBerry PlayBook out of stock at major retailers

BlackBerry PlayBook
By Adam Zeis on 9 Oct 2012 09:51 am EDT

The BlackBerry PlayBook appears to be out of stock online at a handful of major retailers in the US and Canada. Stores like Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Staples and Radio Shack have limited or no supply of the PlayBook available. Some outlets (like Best Buy Canada) only list the 32GB model available for purchase. We reached out to RIM and this is what they told us:

"During the back to school season, a number of promotional offers have been in place with select retailers for the BlackBerry PlayBook. These promos were aimed to drive increase adoption of the BlackBerry PlayBook, and help drive sell-through to end customers. These promotions caused many retailers to run out of their current inventory, and we are working with select retailers to replenish stock over the coming weeks. The PlayBook also continues to be available for purchase from RIM's online site, " 

So it looks like the store may have simply just sold out of their inventory over the past few weeks and have yet to get more in stock. It's highly doubtful that there is a new PlayBook on the way or that the stores will stop selling it completely. So if you're looking to find one online, you can still head straight to or just hang tight until stores have a chance to restock.

Source: Computer World 

Adam Zeis Adam Zeis "Mobile Nations Content Strategist" 3740 (articles) 2892 (forum posts)

Reader comments

BlackBerry PlayBook out of stock at major retailers


Well this can only be a good thing if you ask me, so what will this bring the number of units sold up to?

This is strange - RIM should have a Playbook for Christmas. I really hope new hardware is coming because having something is better than nothing.

Having nothing also leaves you with the impression that Playbook is dead - not good!

Yeah that's not really the case. They don't have anything in the pipeline right now that they would be clearing out for, and they have no real reason to pull them from stores. You'll see them get stock back in before the holidays.

I saw that too, and my first thought was that was designed for page views - not truth. The stores in my area have been sold out of the PlayBook for a couple of months now.

BNN is reporting this morning that Blackberry 10 devices will not be out until at least March 2013. Dumped my RIM stock after it dropped $.37. I'm a black berry Fan, and have been waiting for 10 phones.

The source was Peter Misek, an analyst who is a perma-bear on RIM. He just wants to talk down the shares to cover his shorts - he has nothing to base his statement on and it should be ignored. If anything, this dip in the stock is a buying opportunity.

I'm not surprised. PB didn't sell well near me. I just gave my two to my nephew and niece. I waited and waited for the popular apps I wanted but they never came. Maybe BB10 will correct that. I've moved on but I sure hope RIM corrects the lack of popular apps.

I am not really an app guy. I use really the ones that are all cross platform such as the score, Facebook, twitter. I am not a gamer but I have started playing a couple and have had a lot of fun.

It would be nice if an analyst came out with the markets top 100 apps and RIM could focus on getting these into their portfolio.

What apps does RIM not have that you are looking for? Perhaps an email to the app provider would be of great benefit. I personally have been trying to get a couple app providers to port their apps over so I don't have to switch.

Thanks for elaborating as I think the app makers want to know that they have fans in the Blackberry market.


Just visited a friend last night who purchased a playbook for her kids a few months ago. They are so taken up and in love with the playbook that even the 3 year old has been taught how to charge the PB. Unfortunately with his last attempt, he tried to jam in the charging connector upside down and broke the charging port on the PB. He didn't get in trouble because:

- the mother explains to me how all her friends have been telling her how cheap the PB is right now
- the other mothers went out and bought PB's for their kids and themselves because they saw my friend's kids having so much fun with it
- i told her about the charging dock so the kids won't mess up the charging port again

She's selling the old one for scrap, and buying a new one as well as the charging dock. We all know that the PB is a good device, has an excellent interface, is small and portable, is cheaper than any idevice, and Blackberry is still a respected brand - all great selling points.

This PB shortage is entirely plausible - most likely because people are buying them.

Three year old children have no business plugging anything into anything else. Period. Full stop. Beat the parent for stupidity as a warning to the child when he/she is an adult. < /sarcasm >

Thanks, Adam, for a straight forward, simple answer to this "deep mystery". As for the March rumors- I'm gonna have to go with, why is that an issue? It's Q1, just as promised. Sure it's late Q1, but it's not missing the quoted date. Yes, we'd all love to see it earlier, but let's not cry over unspilled milk, eh?

BB10 will get here when it gets here and as soon as RIM deigns to release a full Qwerty device for Verizon, I will buy one. No big deal.

Yes I know all about it, last week I caught on (albeit a little late) that there was an awesome deal on the playbooks at some of the stores in Canada so I headed out to find the 16GB for $129 as advertised but no luck everything sold out.

I finally bought the 2nd last 32GB at Staples for $149 on Thursday, which is a steal of a deal for what you get, I'm completely hooked! I never realized how cool these things were, and the complete integration between my 9900 and the tablet. I've messed around quite a bit with Android tablets and Ipads, and the ease of navigating the OS on this thing is really smooth and quick.

The sale prices on these things are out-of-this-world for what you get. They are selling junk Adroid tablets and Ereaders that can't do much more than read books for the same price as the playbook, not hard to decide which I want.

Alright, I can' t believe I wasted all this time away from my Playbook to write this!

Right the bottom line is have the product immediately available to the masses for purchase. In my experience the PB has never been fully in-stock, anywhere.

Not many consumers care about what's going on in the stockroom we just know the tablet we've researched and are there to purchase isn't available, and most reactions are well is my next choice in stock.

After I researched the PB and decided to go out and purchase it, Best Buy was completely out. The only one in the store was on display dangling from its power and security cable.

To make matters worse the associate didn't even know how to power it on and thought it was broken because the start up screen took a while to load.

I ended up purchasing my first one off Craigslist for 170$ with a ton of accessories thrown in.

Again its always marketing and distribution with RIM, you would think with the write offs that whatever they had would be taking up major space in department stores waiting to be sold.

The blacker the berry the sweeter the use...

"The blacker the berry the sweeter the use..."

Your quote has now been stolen. Thank you, and have a nice day. :)

I'd guess it has more to do with making the PB scarce on their shelves so they can sell more iMinis. I really wouldn't be surprised if it has something to do with Kindles being pulled as well.

Or it could be because people are buying them. My company just bought 20 to give out to clients. Can't beat the price.

I'm sure people are buying. Why wouldn't they? I'm referring to restocking and merchandising. When our local Walmart first set up their tablet display, they had a Playbook spot. (This was right before the release.) I have yet to see one on display or stocked. Under the display case, in the PB spot sits stacks of Android tablets. This also rings true at our local Sprint Store. You mention Blackberry and you are met with a a facial tic, as if the salespeople aren't 'programmed' to acknowledge the word.

With the recent sales that have been going on over the past month or so it is no suprise that many stores are out of stock and waiting on new. I picked up 2, 32 gig PB at Stapples when they were going for $118.00 a piece. Staples could not keep them in stock, I had to order mine and they came in the next day, a shipment of 12 PB and they were gone in a day. this is one store in a small market, Niagara Falls. If this one store was moving product like this the rest in larger markets must have really been moving them out the door. Rim drop the prices all over (US, UK...) so they moved a good amount of product around the world I would think and people are startng to catch on what a good piece of Kit the PB is especially at the prices they have been going for recently.
Rim stopped making the 16 GB and now have the 4G out, they might be clearing out old stock to push the 4G a litte more.

if they're actually out of stock (as in don't physically have any more to sell and would need to make more), do you think it would be a smart idea for RIM to build more units? the PB is being sold at a loss (i.e. bad for cash flow)

probably would be a good idea not to sell them anymore?

Yes it is a good idea to sell them at a loss if you have a longer term strategy in mind. Have you ever heard of the tipping point? In this context I'm referring to getting enough PlayBooks into the hands of potential app buyers so app developers can't afford to ignore the PlayBook. Since RIM needs certain apps for BB10 and, apps written for the PlayBook can be easily ported to BB10, it is a good strategy to "dump" PlayBooks on the market.

It's true their retailers are out of stock. The sales promotion that happened, in Canada at least, was Rims. I can only speculate that the reason was to get playbooks in to many hands as a precursor of the unveiling of the mini iPad and for the future release of BB10. I guess it will also make the sales for the last quarter look pretty good.

So, stores have actually finally sold their original 1.5 year old stock? :S
I kiiid!
I love my Playbook, and so does my wife...

Ok, for everyone trying to spin this as a good thing please stop. One, Rim is selling every playbook at a lost, so when they run out they should stop making this product. Two, with the iPad mini coming in a month or so, it will lower the market prices of every other seven inch tablet just so they can compete in this market. Last, Rim should think about building a new tablet with cheaper hardware and include BB10 so they can compete; they need to be able to build a 200$ tablet and still make a profit off of it.

I'll be surprised if Apple will sell a mini iPad that's cheaper then the cost of their iPod's. Apple will not be cost competitive, it'll be the iPad that will be affordable for those who can't afford the large version or who want a smaller form factor. Building a tablet with cheaper hardware just gets you a cheap tablet. And if your competing against Apple, that'll get you nowhere. Everybody who owns a PlayBook now will be able to upgrade to BB10 in the future, a great example for future PlayBook buyers.

I agree. The new smaller ipad will be at least a 400 ipad. People will buy it at this price and Apple will make a large profit margin.

I think 64 and 128 GB models for RIM should sell for 275 and 325. If they can sell these 2 wifi models they should be able to turn a profit.

RIM will NOT stop making the blackberry playbook. This isn't a loss stop being so negative. Spoiling the good times for most isn't good.

I love my playbook and use it when my computer, netbook or tablet pc is in use or charging up after a dead battery is reached. I see this as a good thing for RIM, because those playbooks are SELLING!!

I just bought a 64 GB last week from Amazon. They have some. So you can still get a PB from places such as Amazon.

Proudly a member of TeamBlackberry, and in it for the long haul.

The playbook is out of stock because people want it. It is a great deal at a great price. What is so hard to understand.

In the 7 inch tablet market, there are two ways you can go. First, you could push cheap, cheap, cheap. Stripped down hardware with a marginally adequate OS that supports media/electronic consumption. Hey if Apple wants to bring out a $hitty little device to dip their toe in this market then all the power to them. Of course, the other way you can go is to make the 7 inch tablet a full communication device with all the bells and whistles. It would be innovative and novel. This is the way I bet RIM is going. It would make their tablet the class of the field and a light year ahead of everything else. Wouldn't it be ironic if RIM was marketing a high end device while at the same time Apple was trolling at the bottom end. Time will tell.

The playbook is out of stock because people want it? Do you know business? It's all in the mind. Put a 700 dollar tablet on sale for 100 and it's an impulse buy that even the dead broke would buy. There aren't lines for this thing. NOTHING IS SOLD OUT this say in age. If your local best buy only stocked 3 and sold all three, it's called a sell out... but in reality they only sold 3. THREE!!!!!!

You're spot on. I most likely would not have purchased a tablet were it not for the amazing price of the Playbook. Not only I did buy one, but my parents (who barely use a computer) did as well. $118 is ridiculously cheap for a 32GB device that has all of the features the Playbook does. With it selling at a loss I highly doubt Rim would make more.

Dude, RIM already took the product write down a few quarters ago. They don't have to make a profit on these devices. As such, they made a decision to get the device into people hands. This is the right choice and keeps their products active while they develop BB10. They can't do this all time but for now it's a Great Price for a great device.

I wish RIM would come out with a 128+GB PB running either 1.5 or 2 MHz dual cores, NFC, and at least 2 GB of RAM..both in 7" and 10" form factors. That would be a real iPad killer once BB10 is available.. IMO

"I wish RIM would come out with a 128+GB PB running either 1.5 or 2 MHz"

1.5 or 2 MHz would be excruciatingly slow. Now if that was GHz, I am all for it ;)

I have seen a surge in popularity after the playbook got the bridged sms update. I have had mine since the beginning and the last this last update is truly golden with the bridged sms. Imo, i now have the perfect combo in mobility. Really not sure why "out of stock" is spun in a negitive way esp since the pricing is way down from orginal. What is also funny is WHERE are all the negetive press with all the ongoing issues with i5, the world's most advanced phone. Tim Cook says sorry and all of a sudden Apple gets a pass. Thaen again, apple has a strong hold on most us media anyways. Its become very plainly obvvious now.

I was able to play with a demo and all i can say is its become a soulless product. I still appreiacate my wife's i4 for its build, but love my 9900 and playbook combo. From a baised pov i think qnx will be the next gen in mobility, and if bb10 is truly one handed it'll make for a truly competitive device. As i see it, most comsumers are already using their phone one handed with the exception of texting of course.

Impatiently waiting for my bb10.


Could the stock issue be due to the BlackForest being launched soon??? I am truly waiting for this to drop.....I want the 10 inch BlackForest Playbook. Any update on the BlackForest??? I am ready to purchase TODAY!!!!!

From another angle something is up as it is being reported that BlackBerry 10 will drop now in the latter part of the 1Q rather than the earlier. I wonder if RIM is planning a big release with all it's devices.


This is just some douchey ANALyst trying to manipulate the stock price. RIM has always maintained that BB10 will be released in Q1 of 2013 without giving a firm date... and last time I checked, March is within the Q1 time-frame given.

I can confirm this. The playbook at my walmart went on sale week after week and people cleaned us out and we haven't kept up. But the same thing happened last year when the 16s went on sale we wiped out until the first week of December. But for boxing day we got over 100 in stock and we dropped the price. I guarantee most retailers will be ready come Christmas time

At least they are in stock (somewhat)...last month during the sale in Canada where the 32GB version was $118 they were impossible to find...each version were out of stock online and in store.
I think the 32GB at $149 is the best value, glad i picked up one for my gf during that sale. With BB10 on the way and that amazing update we received last week...the PB can only get better. For the price...this tablet is unbeatable, simply amazing unreal deal!

I wish more businesses would use the playbook as a business tool. We do and we absolutely love it.
The bridge will be even better with the new BB10 LTE phone. Think of the speed over bridge.

Not official. I had to search to find the 'source' of this news. It comes from analyst Peter Misek. So until Rim says otherwise, the timeline has not changed.

"The PlayBook also continues to be available for purchase from RIM's online site, "

Heck N0!! I will never go down that route again. Once bitten twice shy.

Good news? Yeah or retailers know that rim is near death, playbook has barely any visibility in the market/didn't sell well and they'd rather spend their bucks on the shiny iStuff and upcoming Win 8 stuff that sells like hot cakes...

As I said before, it was Rim who initiated the sale of Playbooks over the last month, not retailers.
With Windows 8 phone currently at 5% of the global share, they'll have a large hill to climb to catch up to everybody else. Time will tell.

It was on early september on Office Depot, they had an offer for the 64Gb at $249 and I picked up the last one, so it is no surprise for me this situation, and this is in Puerto Rico where RIM is loosing?? Adopters. Even though I spoke to some people that are or want to change from iPhone to BlackBerry, specially to the Bold. Figures tell otherwise, I also have a Bold 9900 from BestBuy back in June on offer for $99 and was also the last one on store. So figure it out, they are loosing market but deices are sold out???

They aren't loosing marketshare that much. Didn't you take the time to read the blogs and note allot more got added to the 76 million, which is now 80 million? More increased marketshare to be honest.

Oh and do use a spell checker. Lots of typos.

Quoting from the blog posting, "During the back to school season, a number of promotional offers have been in place with select retailers for the BlackBerry PlayBook. These promos were aimed to drive increase adoption of the BlackBerry PlayBook, and help drive sell-through to end customers."

Personally, I did not see any "back-to-school" advertising for the BlackBerry PlayBook. The fact of the matter is the lack of applications suitable for use in an academic environment (office suite, multi-document PDF reader, lack of ebook (PDF) support for the DRM'ed textbooks used by many schools, etc.) has me shaking my head in disbelief.

Having owned a 16 GB Playbook since February this year, and having paid the $199 price for it, at this point in time I can honestly say:

I personally would not pay more than $150 for a 64 GB Playbook, and even that is pushing it. I also would not pay more than $150 for an 8 GB iPad mini. (Or $350 for a 64 GB model.)

Yes, I and most people would view the price spread between the two products as entirely reasonable, because that is what the market will stand to bear. Apple's got the apps, share, and reputation, and the newer product. RIM has none of those.

I think it stands to reason that RIM is blowing out all the 16 and 32 GB models, and will consolidate any remaining 64 GB stock and send that to select retailers. I doubt they plan to manufacture any more Playbooks, because that would be throwing good money after bad.

Let them try to sell the LTE/4G Playbook. They may have sold 2 for the outrageous price they think they can ask for it...

*disclaimer: I don't own any Apple products (though the mini may cause me to rethink things), and I hope RIM does well with BB10, but the Playbook was a wash for them and they blew it. Perhaps once they can make a proper product push next year, a new tablet could be released alongside BB10.

As far as I know, RIM is still going to be selling the 32 & 64GB wifi playbooks and also, the 3G/4G/LTE playbooks ARE NOT priced by RIM.

Carrier's set the price for them on a 1, 2 or 3 year (12, 24, 36 month) term and $525 (I believe) off-, or $535cois ntract. Don't blame rim for the higher prices, the carriers did that. RIM has no control over it.