The BlackBerry PlayBook entered the tablet market with a bit of a struggle over 2011. Amid heavy competition on all fronts, it seems that users expected more out of the device, perhaps solely based on the legacy of RIM alone. The PlayBook simply was missing many of the functions that Blackberry users have come to know and love. To combat this, RIM slashed the PlayBook’s price by more than 50% in the face of the holiday season, causing web use to skyrocket and a temporary shortage in major retailers. February 21st saw the release of PlayBook OS 2.0, and with it integrated e-mail support and Android app availability. This update stands to position the BlackBerry Playbook on a more even foothold with tablets released by other major device makers. The new OS is available for free as a download, and also an automatic update on new devices.

The high level of demand associated with the functionality of the latest PlayBook software release poses a key question: To what extent has PlayBook OS 2.0 penetrated the market? To measure the current level PlayBook OS 2.0 adoption, Chitika Insights conducted a market analysis on BlackBerry PlayBook impressions. This series of impressions was composed of hundreds of millions of data points from the Chitika Ad network using a sample spanning February 19th to the 25th. The graph below relays the current version distribution of the PlayBook OS:

After just over a week, the PlayBook OS is already running on 43% of all eligible devices. It would seem that this rapid rate of adoption is expected given that the upgrade was free and in many cases automatic. If the use of the OS continues to grow at this rate with 50% decay, market majority will be achieved in two weeks, and by three weeks 75% of all PlayBook OS eligible devices will be running the upgrade.

PlayBook OS 2.0’s rapid adoption seems to be a testament to how the implementation of automatic updates can support software version integrity. Similar trends can be seen in the web browser release process, as reported in this previous Chitika Insights study on Mozilla’s Firefox. Moreover, it probably doesn’t hurt that the upgrade has been made available for free. Stay tuned to future Chitika Insights reports focusing on RIM and its forays into the mobile device industry.

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