RIM recalls 1,000 BlackBerry Playbooks from Staples

BlackBerry PlayBook

Research in Motion (RIM) has been forced to recall almost 1,000 units of its new tablet device the BlackBerry PlayBook.

Following reports of a memo from office supplier Staples about over 900 faulty PlayBooks, RIM made an official statement on the actual number of duff units and the nature of the problem.

It seems a single batch of 1,000 PlayBooks shipped with a dodgy operating system installed, a version of the BlackBerry Tablet OS which RIM say would be "unable to properly load software upon initial setup."

The PlayBooks in question were of the 16GB variety and RIM asserted most would still be in the shops, rather than sold to customers.

The problem has affected Staples stores in the US, but there's currently no word on these problems in Europe or elsewhere.

RIM said: "In the small number of cases where a customer received a PlayBook that is unable to properly load software upon initial set-up, they can contact RIM for assistance. "

Crackberry and Engadget have released complete lists with the serial numbers of all affected devices to allow buyers to check if theirs needs replacing.

The PlayBook has received largely positive feedback from reviewers and commentators, despite early allegations from analysts it would be "dead on arrival." It does have its detractors though, with some suggesting the lack of features, such as native email support, indicated a "rush job."

However, this recall hiccup is still a little embarrassing for RIM, particularly in the face of other knock backs. It was recently criticised for company strategy and performance by financial analysts and the subsequent depreciation of RIM shares.