RIM: No retreat on PlayBook; Preps big October update

Summary:RIM isn't going to punt on the PlayBook. RIM is betting on a big October update to save sales.

Unlike HP, Research in Motion executives said they won't retreat on its PlayBook tablet, which missed fiscal second quarter shipment estimates by a wide margin. In fact, RIM appears to be doubling down on the PlayBook in a big bet that sales will pick up.

RIM moved 200,000 PlayBooks in the second quarter. Wall Street was looking for 600,000. Jefferies analyst Peter Misek was expecting 500,000 units.

Given HP's move to nix the TouchPad, RIM's performance could have sparked thoughts of a PlayBook retreat. Instead, RIM co-CEO Mike Lazardis indicated that the company is stepping up its PlayBook push with a software update that will show enterprises and consumers the light.

Also: RIM woes continue: Q2 earnings hit amid weak demand, product shift

The PlayBook is "well below where we’d like it to be, but will ultimately be successful in a market that it in its infancy."

Lazardis said PlayBook security is bolstering enterprise demand and landing government accounts. "The PlayBook is the first tablet deployed by government agencies," he said.

Meanwhile, the Playbook will soon get native email, calendar and contact as well as an Android app player.

In addition, RIM is going to rev up PlayBook marketing for the fall and include incentive programs for corporate customers and consumers.

RIM's bet is that a massive software update in October will change the PlayBook's sales trajectory. Give the company some credit---it's certainly persistent.

Topics: Tablets, BlackBerry, Mobility, Security

About

Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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