Canaccord sees slow PlayBook sales as iPad 2 continues to dominate tablet market

Slower than expected sell-through of Research In Motion’s BlackBerry PlayBook tablet has prompted investment bank Canaccord Genuity to slash its sales estimates for RIM’s first tablet. BGR noted last week that Best Buy’s Labor Day sale likely indicated slow sell-through of at least one PlayBook model, and it looks like a recent round of checks jibes with our take. Canaccord analysts Michael Walkley and Matt Ramsay wrote in a research note that multiple retailers are seeing less than impressive sales of RIM’s slate. “Our August checks continue to indicate soft sales of RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook with some retailers recently lowering prices on the device in attempt to move inventory,” the analysts said. As a result, Walkley slashed his full-year PlayBook sales projection substantially to 1.5 million units from earlier estimates of 2.2 million tablets. Read on for more.

Moving forward, the firm doesn’t see PlayBook sales picking up much in the near term, especially in light of the iPad 2′s continued domination of the tablet market. “With our checks indicating the iPad 2 continues to dominate sell through trends for the tablet market and our expectation for increased competition from Android OEMs such as Samsung, HTC, and even Amazon into the holiday season, we expected continued soft sales for the PlayBook,” the note states. Apropos, Canaccord lowered its 2012 PlayBook sales projection as well to 2.5 million tablets from an earlier forecast of 3.2 million units. Walkley reiterated his Hold rating on RIM stock with a price target of $35.

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