RIM reveals some surprising Playbook numbers

Buried in amongst RIM’s fairly dire Q1 earnings, was the news that the outfit shipped 500,000 BlackBerry Playbooks during the quarter.

This is a drop in the bucket compared to the 13.2 million phones it flogged. It does make RIM’s Playbook second only to the iPad in terms of tablet sales.

Research in Motion did not comment about how many of those 500,000 ended up with ordinary people rather than corporate customers.

RIM did not see much good in its financial results. True it made $4.9 billion in revenue and $695 million in profit. But the earnings are on the low end of forecasts, and RIM says that the slowdown it saw in the first quarter will continue into Q2.

This means that it will have to make a number of its staff redundant and mean a lowered forecast for the rest of the year.

However CEO Mike Lazaridis was telling the world+dog that the Playbook was doing really well.

It does seem that the company is putting out improvements to the beast at a snail’s pace.

One of the criticisms about the tablet is that you need a Blackberry phone to plug into it to get it to work.

Lazaridis told a post results conference call that the tablet will get native email and BBM and an Android player later in the summer, to be followed in the autumn with a 4G PlayBook for WiMAX, LTE, and HSPA+.