Update: TabletPCReview has received the official line from RIM, which confirms the recall, but mentions that many of the affected units were not yet sold to customers:
RIM determined that approximately one thousand BlackBerry PlayBook tablets (16 GB) were shipped with an OS build that may result in the devices being unable to properly load software upon initial set-up.
The majority of the affected devices are still in the distribution channel and haven’t reached customers. RIM is working to replace the affected devices.
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.
Rumor has it that RIM is recalling nearly 1,000 BlackBerry PlayBook tablets that, according to a leaked Staples memo, RIM has “determined to be faulty.”
The Staples memo does not list the specific issue affecting the tablet, but claims that any remaining PlayBooks from the list of nearly 1,000 sold “may result in a customer purchasing a unit that will not operate.” The serial numbers were provided, and it seems all are 16GB units.
It’s not clear if the issue is limited to BlackBerry tablets sold just at Staples.
In a PlayBook review, TabletPCReview praised the PlayBook for having “excellent hardware and a workhorse processor.” However, TPCR did find some bugs with the new QNX-based BlackBerry Tablet OS, many of which were eliminated with subsequent minor OS updates.
The BlackBerry PlayBook is a seven-inch tablet with a 1GHz Dual-Core TI OMAP 4430 processor and 1GB of RAM. It pairs over Bluetooth to BlackBerry handsets for access to BlackBerry mail, messenger, contacts, and calendar. TabletPCReview liked its build quality, complete browser, and the new OS, sans a handful of bugs. However, the PlayBook was (and still is) missing basic apps like email at launch.
All 935 serial numbers rumored for recall are available on Engadget, which broke the story.