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By | Paul Kunert 29th January 2013 08:03

RIM PlayBook trumps new iPad in UK channel sales - analyst

'As good as Apple's tab but half the price' Oh, BURN

RIM's once little-loved BlackBerry PlayBook tablet has outsold the latest iPad in Blighty's IT distribution channel, according to an analyst.

More than 802,000 touchscreen tablets were sold in November and December compared to nearly 118,000 units in the same period of 2011 - and Apple accounted for just a quarter of this latest figure, IT distribution watcher Context estimates.

"Sub-£300 devices accounted for 76 per cent of shipments," Context mobile guru Salman Chaudhry told us. "A year ago it was 43 per cent. There has been a complete shift in the channel.

"It's a price-driven market, but never was before. The quality of many tablets is as good as the iPad but half the price, and they have a decent software ecosystem too. It's come a long way in a year."

RIM fought hard to win over the affections of tech distribution channel partners, who gave its PlayBook a wide berth until its price was permanently slashed last year.

RIM shifted 160,000 of the devices in the last two months of 2012, and this was helped by giving retailers a hefty margin - the trade price was £86 but the recommended price tag for shoppers was £129.

Nestled behind the PlayBook was, according to Context, Apple's fourth-generation iPad which sold 113,000 units, followed by the Nexus 7 (105,000), the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 inch (85,000), and the seven-inch Galaxy Tab (60,000), as well plenty of other Android kit. Meanwhile, distributors sold a total of 203,000 Apple slabs including the fourth iteration of the iPad.

Chaudhry said distributors were handed just 19,000 iPad Minis as Apple hogged the supply, prioritising stock for its stores and for then for Premium Resellers. ®

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