Analyst Claims PlayBook is Dead, RIM Denies, Best Buy Dumps

| Analysis

Conflicting reports on the fate of Research In Motion’s BlackBerry PlayBook tablet circulated on Thursday, starting with a research note from Collins Stewart semiconductor analyst John Vihn that claimed the company had canceled its unloved tablet endeavor. RIM quickly denied the report, but that didn’t stop Best Buy from lighting a [Kindle] fire on its own stock of the devices, slashing the price by $200.

Bring Out Your Dead!

Contrary to some reports, the BlackBerry PlayBook claims to not be dead quite yet

“We believe RIM has stopped production of its PlayBook and is actively considering exiting the tablet market,” Mr. Vihn wrote, according to Reuters.

His primary reasoning for making the claim is that Quanta, the manufacturer of the PlayBook, recently laid off a “significant number” of workers at the factory that makes the device.

He added, “Additionally, our due diligence indicates that RIM has canceled development of additional tablet projects.”

All of that is well and good. After all, RIM shipped 200,000 of the email-less devices in its last full quarter, down from a mere 500,000 the quarter before, and few of those were actually bought by end-users. Death may seem a fitting end for this particular would-be iPad competitor.

But not so, according to RIM itself. The company told The Canadian Press that Mr. Vihn’s report was “pure fiction.” The company insisted that it remains committed to the PlayBook (whether or not it’s selling, we added parenthetically).

OK, so it’s not dead…yet. Still, Best Buy appears to be bailing on the besmirched ‘Book. PCWorld reported that the retailer has slashed the price on its inventory of PlayBooks by $200, cutting the 7” device from $499 to $299.

While this isn’t the first time the PlayBook’s price has been hacked and slashed like a 12 year old’s D&D adventure, PCWorld noted that it’s the first one that came free and clear of any kind of strings, like the “cut” coming in the form of a rebate or a gift card.

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6 Comments Leave Your Own

geoduck

What I find most interesting is BB appearing to clear stock before Christmas. I suspect they want the shelf space for something they think will sell better.

whisper

I think the price drop has a lot more to do with a November release of a $199 Kindle than it does with clearing stock before Christmas

Arthur

This article is quite the amazing piece of trash.  I am not a BB fanboy, but why make up your closing comment??  It’s a straight out lie.

Try doing a little research.  This IS the first time the PlayBook’s price has been dropped and it’s been very well reported on just earlier this week and last week.

Wow.  Good job, Sherlock.

Bryan Chaffin

Here is one of many, many articles detailing price cuts on the PlayBook that came before the new price at Best Buy.

wab95

If Dickens were around to blog about the RIM tablet, he might title it, ‘A Christmas Carol’, in which the Playbook features as the Ghost of Christmas Past - just in time for the holidays.

Maybe not dead yet, but on a ventilator and pressors in the ICU with no brain wave activity. Decision time for the RIM family.

Nice graphics, BTW.

Dorje Sylas

Was there some hardware reason it could never have been software updated to get email and other features? It honestly seemed like if they had fixed that issue quick they wouldn’t be where they are right now.

I think Apple has found this approach to work decently well with rolling out new features in iOS or even being able to respond to poplar demands (see Mute/Rotation Lock switch). Then again RIM has never had to push major alterations in software like that before.

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