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Analysts cut forecasts for RIM PlayBook shipments

Surveying several analysts, Bloomberg says that RIM may have sold just 490,000 PlayBooks during the company's fiscal second quarter, leading them to lower their full-year forecasts.


For every 19 tablets that Apple shipped during its last quarter, RIM may have shipped only one.

Tapping into the estimates of several analysts, Bloomberg says that RIM likely shipped about 490,000 PlayBooks during its fiscal second quarter, which ended August 31. That contrasts with a total of 9.25 million iPads that Apple shipped during its fiscal third quarter, which ended June 25.

As a result of sluggish demand for the PlayBook, analysts on average have trimmed their full-year forecast for RIM's tablet shipments, according to Bloomberg.

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Canaccord Genuity analyst Michael Walkley cut his estimate for the full fiscal year to 1.5 million from 2.2 million. Analyst William Power with Robert W Baird & Co. chopped his forecast to 2 million from 2.45 million. And Steven Li, an analyst at Raymond James, lowered his expectations to 2.4 million units from 4 million.

Anticipation was high for RIM's enterprise-ready tablet, but the PlayBook got off to a shaky start when it debuted. Though RIM unveiled the tablet last September, the company didn't actually launch it until mid-April.

And despite the delay in launching, the PlayBook hit the market missing several key features, including native e-mail and instant messaging. RIM initially rolled out a Wi-Fi only version, hoping to drum up interest among the the major carriers to offer 3G or 4G versions. But Verizon never took the bait, and Sprint recently cancelled plans to offer a 4G edition of the tablet.

RIM itself reportedly lowered its own sales target for the tablet in the June quarter down to 800,000 to 900,000 units from the original goal of 2.4 million units.

The BlackBerry maker is scheduled to report its overall quarterly results later today, and analysts are anticipating RIM's first drop in sales in nine years. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg are on average looking for sales to fall to $4.53 billion from $4.62 billion a year ago.