It is possible that Apple had unwittingly produced a month-long postponement of BlackBerry’s PlayBook. According to panel builders, Apple had booked a large amount of touchscreen production capacity for its iPad and other devices and had consequently triggered a shortage that made it very hard for Research in Motion to get supplies. The only other element mentioned by sources from Digitimes was last-minute testing of software.
This claim has not been confirmed but might be corroborated by earlier reports. It is known for months that Apple was making most of its touchscreen orders in Taiwan. In one of its fiscal results call, RIM had declared that it expected to have figures reflecting the expenses related to the shipping of the PlayBook by the end of its quarter ending in February. The company expected to get revenues only in March, at the start of the next quarter, suggesting an intended shipping timeframe in March. However, it had to set a release date on April 19th.
The long history of the tablet had mixed performance. The PlayBook has been shown for the first time in September last year, but a six-month delay was immediately set. Although appreciated for its speed and modern operating system, the tablet has systematically been compared to the original iPad, assuming that Apple would not have an answer too soon. Unfortunately for RIM, both the first scheduled delay and the new gap attributed to Apple gave the latter the opportunity and enough time to launch a second version of the iPad, which may cancel most of the advantages the PlayBook claimed. RIM still rushes the release as it has no native e-mail client for a time following the launch.