RIM rumored to cease production of 'weak' selling Wi-Fi PlayBook

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014
Only a few months after it first went on sale, the Wi-Fi-only model of Research in Motion's PlayBook touchscreen tablet is rumored to be discontinued, as it has failed to compete with Apple's market leading iPad. [Updated with response from RIM]



The rumor came Monday from OTR Global, and was relayed by RBC Capital Markets analyst Mike Abramsky. The BlackBerry PlayBook hit the market in April with a model that did not include integrated 3G, and it was met with lukewarm reviews.



"Weak PlayBook sales may not be the only reason (for the alleged discontinuation) -- RIM appears to be focusing resources around 3G/4G PlayBook, QNX 'superphones,' and upcoming BlackBerry launches," Abramsky wrote.



He said that reduction in builds for the PlayBook could signal a number of things, including lower than expected sales. It's also possible that RIM may believe a forthcoming 3G/4G model, expected to launch in two to three months, could cannibalize sales of Wi-Fi-only models.



Apple's iPad, meanwhile, crossed the 25 million milestone in early June. The company is expected to report sales of more than 8 million iPad 2 units in its quarterly earnings tomorrow.



The report also said that RIM "appears to be re-prioritizing" its research and development teams away from the PlayBook. The company's new focus is said to be on the QNX-based operating system it plans to bring to its phones in early 2012.



The Canadian smartphone maker is said to be adjusting its strategy going forward as the company has been plagued with plummeting sales throughout the first half of 2011. The company's latest earnings were down for the year as well as sequentially, prompting RIM to begin to streamline its operations and lay off workers.







More evidence of RIM's struggles was presented earlier Monday, when a new survey from ChangeWave showed that just 4 percent of consumers who plan to buy a smartphone in the next three months will choose a BlackBerry. That number is the lowest ever seen in a ChangeWave survey, and is a far cry from the market-leading 32 percent share of prospective buyers the company had in September of 2008.



RIM's struggles gained even more attention in June when an anonymous executive from the company published an open letter calling for a new CEO. The company responded by announcing its intentions to establish a committee to look into the company's executive and board roles.



Update: A spokesperson for RIM has denied the report by OTR Global, telling TheLoop: "Rumors suggesting that the WiFi version of the BlackBerry PlayBook is being discontinued are pure fiction. Over the past month, the PlayBook has launched in 16 additional markets around the world and further rollouts are planned for Southeast Asia, Western Europe and the Middle East in the coming weeks.”

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Comments

  • irnchrizirnchriz Posts: 1,403member
    Sounds unlikely but if it's true, hahahahahaha..ha!





    Dum dum dum dum dum dum FLASH!! Ah ah!! In the pan.
  • btblombergbtblomberg Posts: 63member
    Mike Abramsky's justifications make little sense, but he is always a RIM defender, likely at the urging of his bosses. So they may discontinue a poor selling product because it may get hurt by a yet inexistent product that will come in 2-3(6-12) months. Or that they are refocusing research.



    It's all about they are not selling and making more makes no sense when they are not drawing down inventory. That would make sense.
  • maccherrymaccherry Posts: 924member
    Better say bye bye to Mr.Mike Lazaridis. How embarrassing, but didn't we saw this coming?

    I was in Best Buy the other day and the playbook wasn't even on. Damn. But the ipads and the macs are always front and center "ON'.
  • smallwheelssmallwheels Posts: 584member
    Maybe the WiFi model would be selling if it actually had some good features and were reasonably priced. If a company produces an inferior product to a competitor then it either must sell the item at a much lower price to get sales or it will just die. Plenty of advertising might work for a short term gain but eventually the world would learn about the shortcomings of it.



    RIM will fail soon if it can't improve its products. They'll cease to exist in a year if their next phones don't gain traction in the marketplace.
  • anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 16,830member
    So quickly!? I gave it a few months.....



    Yup, CEO(s) may be toast.
  • market_playermarket_player Posts: 140member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BTBlomberg View Post


    Mike Abramsky's justifications make little sense, but he is always a RIM defender



    Of course he is a defender of RIM; the company he works for is the third largest holder of RIM stock, it's Mike's job to make RIM sound good so RBC can get their money out of a dead horse.
  • esummersesummers Posts: 871member
    Why didn't they concentrate on phones first to begin with. They may be at risk to lose both markets now. Good luck in developing markets RIM...
  • cloudgazercloudgazer Posts: 2,161member
    What looks like a duck but doesn't quack like a duck?





    A dead duck
  • quinneyquinney Posts: 2,420member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


    So quickly!? I gave it a few months.....



    Yup, CEO(s) may be toast.



    The committee to investigate executive roles is not scheduled to make its recommendations until January 31, 2012. The co-CEOs need something good to happen soon or that could be the end.
  • jetzjetz Posts: 1,290member
    I am doubting this rumour.



    Granted, sales aren't in the same universe as the iPad (no tablet is), but it is selling on par with many an Android tablet. So why stop?
  • igod 2.0igod 2.0 Posts: 77member
    LMAO. Hahahahahaha. Sink or swim huh?? Hahaha. PlayBook. Looks like they ran out of plays! Hahaha
  • bilbo63bilbo63 Posts: 284member
    I for one, am shocked!
  • bilbo63bilbo63 Posts: 284member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Jetz View Post


    I am doubting this rumour.



    Granted, sales aren't in the same universe as the iPad (no tablet is), but it is selling on par with many an Android tablet. So why stop?



    I think that they didn't want to be yet another company fighting over the spoils.



    Rumours were there profit margins were extremely low on each unit. combine that with lack-luster sales... well you know.



    Some rumours even indicated that they were actually losing money trying to match the iPad's price point, although I find that unlikely.
  • euiphoneusereuiphoneuser Posts: 26member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Jetz View Post


    I am doubting this rumour.



    Granted, sales aren't in the same universe as the iPad (no tablet is), but it is selling on par with many an Android tablet. So why stop?



    I think RIM had very high, unrealistic expectations. Most likely they produced too much and have more stock than they can sell.
  • btblombergbtblomberg Posts: 63member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Jetz View Post


    I am doubting this rumour.



    Granted, sales aren't in the same universe as the iPad (no tablet is), but it is selling on par with many an Android tablet. So why stop?



    Not that those numbers are good, but that is my thought too. Sell them until you have the 3G/4G ready to ship. They may have to stop production if they have a warehouse full of product that is not moving fast enough.
  • solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    But it has Flash¡
  • stelligentstelligent Posts: 2,680member
    Even if one is not a BB fan, this is sad news. More jobs will be lost. A once dynamic and innovative company keeps sliding. I personally do not see any reason to rejoice over such news.
  • matthew yohematthew yohe Posts: 310member
    But wait guys! It runs Flash!
  • shenshen Posts: 434member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Jetz View Post


    I am doubting this rumour.



    Granted, sales aren't in the same universe as the iPad (no tablet is), but it is selling on par with many an Android tablet. So why stop?



    Because the sales are so bad they are on par with many Android tablets...
  • zindakozindako Posts: 468member
    But the playbook runs flash no?
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