After the disappointing sales of Blackberry PlayBook which launched on April 11th, the holiday season presented a great opportunity for RIM to stay alive in the market as well as clean out retailers’ shelves. In light of Black Friday (November 25th), RIM slashed the price of the BlackBerry PlayBook by more than 50% for the holiday season.

In order to investigate if the holiday markdown would help drive deflated sales, Chitika Insights conducted a research study to track the level of online activity for the PlayBook and to identify any interesting insights about the sale. This study covered a time frame of hourly data starting from November 14th until November 30th, using a sample which covered hundreds of millions of impressions.

As you can see in the graph above, starting mid-afternoon on Black Friday the level of online activity for the PlayBook increased rapidly — highlighted by a tremendous jump from the evening of November 27 to the morning of November 28th. The reason behind this enormous jump can perhaps be related to the rising demand of the product on the last day of the holiday weekend. Best Buy, one of the major retailers offering the Playbook, sold out on Friday due to excessive demand generated by the steep discount. It would appear that tablet users didn’t want to miss out on the deal.

An additional interesting piece of data is reflected in the level of online activity on Monday morning.

Online activity started falling more quickly than it had increased two days before. The huge drop may introduce some questions regarding the success of holiday sale for PlayBook.

It is possible that many of these new users were not happy with their PlayBooks and decided to get their money back, or discontinue their use of the device. Still, there is almost a 46% increase in the level of traffic compared to the more stable data starting on the morning of November 29th.

What does the future hold for the Playbook? Will activity continue to increase or will we see more precipitous drops as observed on November 28th? We’ll continue monitoring activity for the Playbook to see if 2011 holiday season really helped to drive Playbook traffic or not.

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