Research in Motion is recalling almost 1,000 PlayBook tablets because of faulty software. (Jeff Chiu/Associated Press)

Research in Motion is recalling 1,000 PlayBook tablets sold at Staples stores after discovering that some of the tablets cannot properly install setup software, a company representative said.

“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 company said in an e-mailed statement.     

The tablet was released April 20.

The statement said that most of the affected units are still in the distribution channel, so it’s likely that very few of the faulty tablets made it to customers — Engadget compiled a list of the serial numbers of the affected units.

Sounds like a fairly small recall, given that the PlayBook is believed to have sold about 45,000 units on its opening day. But RIM is already hurting from criticism over the PlayBook, lower-than-expected first-quarter sales and the baffling comments of co-chief executive Mike Lazaridis.

The company probably opted for a recall instead of an over-the-air update to catch the problems before too many of the devices got out to customers. Anyone who has been affected by the bug can contact RIM for assistance, the company said.

Have you been affected by this glitch?

Updated at 1:20 p.m. with comments from RIM.

Related stories:

Tablet wars intensify

Review: BlackBerry PlayBook

BlackBerry PlayBook on sale, with one big issue

RIM’s Balsillie defends PlayBook tablet against critics