Tablets and mobile phones are designed, distributed, outmoded and end-of-lifed so quickly that quality control – at least of the quickly morphing hardware – is incredibly difficult.
Most carriers routinely replace faulty phones – sometimes more than once – without pushing manufacturers to send out broad recalls aimed at one model.
The systems being recalled could have a problem loading software at startup; most haven't reached customers, and are being recalled from the channel rather than being taken out of the hands of end users.
End users who do have a problem can call RIM directly.
PlayBook, which starts at $500 with 16GB of memory, are designed to be a secure, enterprise-ready option for companies leery of iPads and Android tablets that are not as easy to plug in to their BlackBerry networks and management schemes than the PlayBook – if it had worked correctly.
RIM is a distant follower in the tablet market, where the iPad will continue to dominate, closely followed by Android devices, at least through 2015, Gartner reports predict.
Though it has a huge following within corporations, RIM has been widely criticized for being slow to respond to both development of the tablet market, and changes in user requirements for smartphones.
The PlayBook itself has also come in for harsh criticism for requiring a separate BlackBerry device to provide email and Internet connectivity and its poor performance compared to iPad. Versions shipping later this year will have their own WiFi and 4G connections.