∞ RIM may stop production of the PlayBook

RIM may be throwing in the towel on its PlayBook tablet, according to a note from one analyst on Monday.

[ad#Google Adsense 300×250 in story]RBC Capital Markets Managing Director Mike Abramsky said in a note to clients that “Research In Motion is possibly planning to stop production of the BlackBerry PlayBook’s Wi-Fi model,” reports BGR.com.

It’s no secret that the PlayBook is in trouble. The press has hated the PlayBook since the tablet was first released, noting missing features like its lack of native email. Things haven’t gotten any better for RIM.

Sales targets for the PlayBook were slashed from an expected 2.4 million units to just 800,000 units in late June.

During its fiscal first quarter, RIM announced shipments of 500,000 PlayBooks. I’ll stress again, those are shipments from RIM to the channel — that doesn’t mean that they actually sold all of those tablets. For all we know, they could be sitting on retailer’s shelves.

As a result of lower than expected BlackBerry sales in the first quarter, RIM also began lay offs at the company.

  • STL

    Amateur hour continues as the wannabes keep failing against iPad.

    o Galaxy Tab o Xoom o Playbook o Touchpad

    Trash talk from the non iOS tablet wannabe side is almost non existent.

  • McBain

    If so, then holy sh*t, that didn’t take long.  That didn’t even qualify as a Flash in the pan…

  • I have to say this is incredibly sloppy and misleading reporting by BGR, and therefore equally sloppy and misleading of The Loop to regurgitate it verbatim without any qualification. Where’s the link to this ‘analyst’ giving any evidence whatsoever that this is based on something other than his desire to short RIM’s stock? BGR admits that the ‘analyst’ thought it was the WiFi only model that might be discontinued in order to focus on the cellular version, despite the blatant link-bait title that makes it sound like the whole thing is being cancelled. And rather than picking up on this trolling, you republish it here without a moment’s critical thought, apparently happy to be complicit in such douchbaggery. That’s The Loop one step closer to being kicked out of my RSS feeds.

    • Anonymous

      I don’t know if it is true, but it makes little sense to me to sell a cellular only unless the price point remains the same. From the stories I’ve read and anecdotal evidence, Apple sells far more wi-fi only iPads than 3G versions.

      It makes even less sense considering that tethering requirements of the Playbook. Why focus on a cellular version unless this aspect is dropped?

      • Maybe it doesn’t make sense for RIM’s targeted market and they sell more cellular versions. Another reason to concentrate on one version, is to more make use of economies of scale faster, to reduce the price.

        • Anonymous

          How could they sell more to RIM’s targeted market when the point of the tethering was given as security and one device for the enterprise to manage?

          And how likely is it that economies of scale is the reason? They can’t sell enough total versions to provide sell-through numbers. Does it scaling in anticipation of a price drop pass the smell test?

          I don’t think so.

          • I understand what you’re saying and I agree, but the alleged increase in security of this solution is doubtful at best. I think RIM might be trying to change their strategy at bit. Most of their problems could be solved with an OS update that would give the PlayBook the much needed capabilities.As for the EOS idea; should one model have sold significantly better than the other, they could just cut their losses and concentrate on one model. And while you can’t scale in anticipation, producing one model instead of two could save RIM some money.

          • Anonymous

            I agree. But I wonder if the cellular version is that model. At all the screen size, they still couldn’t get the price under $499.  Could dropping the wi-fi version allow this?  

            I don’t think any of the vendors shipping sub-$499 versions ship with cell support?

          • Well, that’s the question, if RIM were to manage that, they’d at least have a price advantage, even if not for long.

            What all this show to me, is that RIM is grasping at straws.

          • I don’t think any of the contradictory statements RIM’s made about this device pass the smell test.

    • ZDNet did the same thing.

  • Hilarious if true. Who will Lazaridis publicly blame for this?

    • Good question. I mean, this is to be taken with a grain of salt because it comes from an analcyst, but if true:

      BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA breathes AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. If you know what I mean 😉

  • Anonymous

    This tablet market still yet has to surface for me. Right now all I see is an iPad market. Case in point. Walked past a very big (20’x30′) Galaxy Tab feature display in the Bay Area’s largest mall three times during a 2 hour period this weekend. Not one person checking out the 20+ tablets they had on display, not one, in 2 hours. The Apple store – Packed! 

  • HP already lowered the price of the TouchPad 50$ CDN. And they have the OS the others (RIM, GOOGLE) copied.As for what Howmanold said, he is correct. The worst part is that places like BureauEnGros(Staples) have a nice variety of tablets with specs as good or better than RIM with screens that make the PlayBook look very small yet at the same time one of the most expensive. I have never seen as much advertising for a product as I have seen for the PlayBook. Some weeks ago I was passing by a Pharmacy or something equivalent and  saw one of those big PlayBook ads in the window. I went in to ask if they started selling such techno gadgets and the girl at the counter said no, they were paid to place the advert there. She appeared to be tired of explaining why they had such an ad in their window. Despite all that you rarely see anyone at the Playbook stand. Every time I meet a Playbook fan I get the same strange reasons why they think it is better. It’s small… but only fits their winter jackets, it does Flash but drains their battery life which is already less than iPad’s. It does “true” multi-tasking but is sold with “true” multi-tasking off because people didn’t realize that once they used the camera and went to another app, the camera app continued trying to auto-balance and auto-focus… just in case they went back to that app. It is extremely rare that users really want “true” multi-tasking. They want the ability to do some basic things in the background such as finish a download, listen to music or radio… things all tablets do including the iPad since a year ago or more. What they really expect is to quickly Task-Switch. That is more a function of the UI which WEBOS arguably did better and were then copied by RIM and Google. If that is what you want, go for the TouchPad. If you like your BB and want an extension of it, get the PlayBook.

  • BB are toast – I was just “Playing” with a PlayBook about an hour ago, and they just suck – sorry BB!! The screen size makes it look pokey (disclaimer: I have no shares in Apple or BB, but I have owned a iPad1 and now have an iPad2), compared to an iPad.

    Also, the UI is just not as crisp and intuitive as an iPad, which pains me because we need some competition badly… have not seen the new Galaxt tab, but understand the OS is still a bit lacking. As for the HP Touchpad, also just had a quick “go” on one of those, too, and that is even worse. Feels cheap, is slow to boot up – I mean reeeeally slow – and then just feels like a cheap iPad, although it is NOT cheap, it is the SAME price. Why the hell would anyone buy one?

    Basically these competitors to the Job’s machine have got to up their game, otherwise they will always be playing catch up, let alone get ahead of the apple curve. Perhaps Nokia and M$ can come up with something, because at the moment, the current offerings are just not in the same league.

  • Jim

    “digitalle wrote: because we need some competition badly”

    Really? Why? I keep seeing this mentioned but I don’t see any reason for it. Does Apple really need the competition to make better products?

    • Yes, even Apple needs this. If there were no competitor offering a better notification system for its devices (Android and webOS in this case), not enough iPhone users would complain about the awful modal dialogues and we’d probably never gotten it.

      There other examples, but my tired mind can only come up with this right now, because it annoys the heck out of me every time a new notification comes in.

      • Anonymous

        I find the notification example unconvincing.  If it was really the competition that was forcing Apple, they would have done it years ago, because WebOS has had best in class notifications since its inception.  And also, Apple has had the technology to do this for at least a year (Game Center notifications).  The notifications was a rough corner in iOS which people had been complaining about ever since the iPhone came out.

        The fact is that Apple’s strategy with iOS has been pretty straightforward.  They are taking it forward one step at a time, filling in the gaps with each subsequent release.  With iOS 5 Apple has finall (IMO, of course) filled in all the “gaps” (PC free, notifications, solid syncing solution).  I think iOS 6 onwards is when we will start seeing the major innovations actually start (iCloud doesn’t count because its independent of iOS).  Apple now has a complete and solid foundation on which to build great stuff.

        And this isn’t the first time they did this.  The entire Mac OS 9 -> Mac OS X transition was extremely similar.  The first few versions (until about 10.3, when Expose completed the foundation by bringing effective window handling to the Mac).

        I honestly believe Apple does not really care about the competition.  A classic example is iCloud.  Everyone (i.e. the major players) else’s solution to the cloud has creating a Web client.  Apple’s solution has been to create a canonical data store on the internet, which can be accessed by multiple clients, including, possible, Web based clients.

        Another example is 3rd party developer support.  When the iPhone was released, native 3rd party apps were not supported, although other platforms, like WM, Palm, and BB already supported this.  Apple took their time to get their tools, APIs, and documentation perfected, and then released it on their own schedule.

        A final example is Apple TV, which came many many years (almost a decade) after MS’es attempts to create some form of living room computer.  Apple’s response came with little to no competitive incentive (it was simply an iTunes extension to the TV) and is far more limited, but much better at what it does (which is apparently all people really need).  Again, if Apple was responding to competitive pressures, they would have crammed a lot more features in it (like a TV tuner) and probably released it far earlier than they did.

        I really don’t see the evidence that competitive pressures motivate Apple to the extent they do other companies.

        A completely 180 from RIM, which released the Playbook ONLY as a response to the iPad (as they have admitted, that they needed to release it without completing the OS so they could compete with the iPad)