VAR Insight is celebrating the "huge significance" of being picked as the exclusive B2B stockist for the launch period of the BlackBerry PlayBook (pictured).
The Sheffield-based reseller began taking pre-orders for the tablet earlier this week and it is understood the product will be commercially available from 16 June. ChannelWeb also understands that Brightpoint has been picked as the exclusive distributor for the launch, and that exclusivity is set to last for 60 days from 16 June for both the reseller and distributor. All parties declined to comment on the terms of their agreements.
Paul Bolt, director of marketing and partner management at Insight UK, described the PlayBook's launch as "hugely significant" for the market and for his firm.
"This is probably the first tablet launch in the UK that hasn't focused almost exclusively on the retail route to market at point of launch," he explained. "BlackBerry has identified that it is a business tool and needed a credible business route to market. This prevents business organisations from having to walk into a shop to buy one and prevents public sector organisations from having to go off-framework.
"The feedback we get from CIOs and IT directors is that there is nothing they dislike more than a product going through the retail space first. Staff go and buy it on a Saturday, and then come in on the Monday and say: ‘Can I connect this to the VPN and get my email?' The stock answer is ‘no'," added Bolt.
RBC Capital Markets recently reported that the PlayBook shifted 250,000 units during its first month on sale in the US and Canada. Bolt claimed that Insight expects to enjoy strong sales in the legal, financial and public sector markets, but that vertically targeted applications could help drive uptake in other sectors.
"We will see the strongholds of the BlackBerry installed base adopt it, but there are also some incredibly innovative and niche app developments happening," he added. "BlackBerry is such a ubiquitous technology across the SME space, with a huge market share."
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