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

post #1 of 76
Thread Starter 
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.”
post #2 of 76
Sounds unlikely but if it's true, hahahahahaha..ha!


Dum dum dum dum dum dum FLASH!! Ah ah!! In the pan.
post #3 of 76
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.
post #4 of 76
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'.
post #5 of 76
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.
post #6 of 76
So quickly!? I gave it a few months.....

Yup, CEO(s) may be toast.
post #7 of 76
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.
post #8 of 76
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...
post #9 of 76
What looks like a duck but doesn't quack like a duck?


A dead duck
post #10 of 76
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.
post #11 of 76
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?
post #12 of 76
LMAO. Hahahahahaha. Sink or swim huh?? Hahaha. PlayBook. Looks like they ran out of plays! Hahaha
iPhone 4 32GB (black), iPod touch 32GB, iPad Wi-Fi + 3G 64GB, iPod classic 80 GB (white) 160GB (black), 2x 5th gen iPod 30GB (black + white), iMac 27", MacBook Pro 17", Time Capsule 1TB, Apple TV
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iPhone 4 32GB (black), iPod touch 32GB, iPad Wi-Fi + 3G 64GB, iPod classic 80 GB (white) 160GB (black), 2x 5th gen iPod 30GB (black + white), iMac 27", MacBook Pro 17", Time Capsule 1TB, Apple TV
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post #13 of 76
I for one, am shocked!
post #14 of 76
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.
post #15 of 76
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.
post #16 of 76
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.
post #17 of 76
But it has Flash¡
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #18 of 76
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.
post #19 of 76
But wait guys! It runs Flash!
post #20 of 76
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...
OSX, because making UNIX user friendly is easier than debugging windows.
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OSX, because making UNIX user friendly is easier than debugging windows.
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post #21 of 76
But the playbook runs flash no?
post #22 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by stelligent View Post

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.

They're sliding because they laughed at Apple entering "their" market. They refused to see the future as it was going to be and kept the staus quo. I don't feel sad one bit. It's natural selection in action, survival of the fittest.

Meanwhile AAPL is at an all time high of around $374
post #23 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by esummers View Post

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...

You know, that's a really good question. Apple waited until they had the phone *right* before launching a tablet. The tablet was their original dream, but they didn't rush it out the door. They took baby steps... good thing the first step (iPhone rev 1) was so darned good.
post #24 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

But it has Flash¡

I got a good website contract this month to replace a Flash-based site with HTML5. This is the direction the world is going in.

Too many companies gave Flash too much importance. It's not important for most sites using it still.
post #25 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

But it has Flash¡

Apparently it couldn't save every one of them.
post #26 of 76
Next of Kin.
post #27 of 76
But the PlayBook has:

post #28 of 76
I'm in total shock! </sarcasm>. A half-baked, crippled tablet wannabe was not able to succeed???

It's really a sad state of affairs that the non-Apple community cannot band together and actually create something that is worthy of competition. The past couple of decades of creating landfill-destined junk is finally coming back to bite them now that they all have to compete against a company that actually makes really good stuff.
post #29 of 76
I think I finally figured out which playbook RIM was referring to when they named their tablet:

The one Virginia Tech used against Stanford in the Orange Bowl.
post #30 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew Yohe View Post

But wait guys! It runs Flash!

FLASH YOU SAY?!!

Sign me up!
post #31 of 76
It will be interesting what RIM can do with QNX. The phone hardware is what is driving my co-workers away from their cherished Blackberries... not sure how RIM can regain the mindshare they have lost over the last 3 years.
post #32 of 76
Still waiting on evidence that there even is a tablet market as opposed to an iPad market. HP TouchPad deathwatch may commence in 3... 2.. 1.
Apple has no competition. Every commercial product which competes directly with an Apple product gives the distinct impression that, Where it is original, it is not good, and where it is good, it...
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Apple has no competition. Every commercial product which competes directly with an Apple product gives the distinct impression that, Where it is original, it is not good, and where it is good, it...
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post #33 of 76
Oh boy!! guys at crackberry will be devastated. LOL

"Apple people have no objectivity when it comes to criticism of Apple.." Lenovo X1 Carbon is out..bye bye MBAir

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"Apple people have no objectivity when it comes to criticism of Apple.." Lenovo X1 Carbon is out..bye bye MBAir

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post #34 of 76
I'm looking forward to the Playbook occupying a bargain-bin.
post #35 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by anifan View Post

I'm looking forward to the Playbook occupying a bargain-bin.

If you don't find one there, they should be easy pickins at the landfill.
Apple has no competition. Every commercial product which competes directly with an Apple product gives the distinct impression that, Where it is original, it is not good, and where it is good, it...
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Apple has no competition. Every commercial product which competes directly with an Apple product gives the distinct impression that, Where it is original, it is not good, and where it is good, it...
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post #36 of 76
We really shouldn't be dancing on RIM's grave just yet. But those of us who have been around since the early days find it hard to be impartial in matters like this. For the past thirty years others have gleefully awaited the chance to dance on Apple's grave. The Apple death spiral clock has been started numerous times, and with much hatred and anticipation. So excuse us if we can't resist the temptation to experience a little schadenfreude at RIM's expense at this time. If you weren't there from the beginning you can't understand.

And when Steve Jobs finally steps down or worse we will see an orgy of glee from those who infest Apple centric forums. I hope that the moderators of those forums do the right thing and delete/ban all of it.
post #37 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by DCJ001 View Post

But the PlayBook has:

(picture of flash)

yeah, but it's so slow and clunky it's more like this guy:

post #38 of 76
Poor RIM. The difference between and iPad and a better tablet is not adding Flash.

Too bad RIM will be gone soon.
post #39 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smallwheels View Post

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.

I think in part it has to do with the difference in sale points.

Apple has a lot of retail stores whereas Blackberry has none and has traditionally relied on the carriers to sell it's products. All they have done here is throw a bunch of Wi-Fi Playbooks on the shelves at Futureshop and BestBuy. It's not surprising that they aren't selling with no sales reps to push them and no one who really wants to anyway.
post #40 of 76
Household: MacBook, iPad 16gb wifi, iPad 64gb wifi, iPad Mini 32gb, coming iPhone 5S, iPhone 4S 32gb, iPhone 32gb, iPod Touch 4th gen x1, iPod nano 16gb gen 5 x2, iPod nano gen 3 8gb, iPod classic...
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Household: MacBook, iPad 16gb wifi, iPad 64gb wifi, iPad Mini 32gb, coming iPhone 5S, iPhone 4S 32gb, iPhone 32gb, iPod Touch 4th gen x1, iPod nano 16gb gen 5 x2, iPod nano gen 3 8gb, iPod classic...
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