Is the PlayBook about to get killed? No way, says RIM

Is the PlayBook about to get killed? No way, says RIM

Summary: RIM is denying speculation that it plans to kill the PlayBook. But does anyone believe it?

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RIM is finally addressing speculation that it plans to kill its struggling PlayBook tablet.

In a statement released today, RIM calls the rumors "pure fiction" and says that it “remains highly committed to the tablet market.” Clearly, rumors of the PlayBook's demise were greatly exaggerated. But where did they come from?

For that you can blame Collins Stewart semiconductor analyst John Vinh, who said on Thursday that RIM had stopped production on the PlayBook and was looking to completely drop out of the tablet market.

This, of course, comes a day after Amazon announced the Kindle Fire, a 7-inch tablet that looks remarkably like the PlayBook and will likely make things much harder for RIM's fading tablet.

Then there's the news that Best Buy is cutting the price of the PlayBook by $200, making the price of 16GB version of the tablet $299. This, ostensibly, is due to the fact that RIM has only shipped roughly 700,000 PlayBooks since its launch earlier this year, and has probably sold fewer.  Scary numbers? Definitely.

If a lot of this sounds familiar, then it's because it's very similar to what happened with the mostly dead TouchPad.  Unlike HP,  however, which killed the TouchPad far faster than it should have, RIM seems pretty committed to its tablet efforts -- at least if you take its comments today at face value. But will RIM's commitment matter once the Kindle Fire arrives in November? I'm not quite so sure.

Topics: Tablets, Amazon, Hardware, Laptops, Mobility, BlackBerry, Security

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15 comments
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  • RE: Is the PlayBook about to get killed? No way, says RIM

    RIM - if you reduce the Playbook to $99 for the 16GB, $149 for the 32 GB, and $199 for the 64 GB model - I promise I'll buy one or two!
    jamboy34
  • RE: Is the PlayBook about to get killed? No way, says RIM

    RIM- If you started giving away the Playbook for FREE, I promise I'd still never get one, let alone two!
    Bates_
  • RE: Is the PlayBook about to get killed? No way, says RIM

    Make it with 3g and the other Blackberry services and I'd buy one for more than $300
    Wilson72
  • Now we're hitting the right price point

    They were just a little too high given the risk it would go obsolete. I'm in. Getting one this weekend. QNX rocks!
    happyharry_z
  • I Bought Two â No Regrets

    Anyone who actually tries the PlayBook loves it. The slings and arrows are hurled by non-owners who are speaking without any real knowledge. If RIM can get a critical mass of users, they stand an excellent chance of succeeding. I am certainly recommending it to friends (and at least one friend bought a couple for himself).<br><br>There are some areas of unrealized promise still. If the version 2 OS lives up to RIM's claims (including Android compatibility) they will succeed.<br><br>We live in such an immediate gratification era. HP's decision to pull out of the market within a few weeks of launch showed the anti-hardware mentality at the top. RIM lives for solid hardware and seems to realize that dropping the PlayBook would have serious credibility costs for their coming new phones. What's wrong with being less than number one in sales, provided sales cover long-term costs?
    jsmith@...
  • RE: Is the PlayBook about to get killed? No way, says RIM

    The QNX message-passing architecture is superior to anything else out there. QNX has the best I/O.<br>Anyone who owns QNX owns the crown jewels of computing. <br><br><a href="http://www.qnx.com/developers/docs/6.3.0SP3/neutrino/sys_arch/intro.html" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://www.qnx.com/developers/docs/6.3.0SP3/neutrino/sys_arch/intro.html</a>
    orea
    • RE: Is the PlayBook about to get killed? No way, says RIM

      @orea
      Maybe the stories should be less about tablets and more about "Will QNX take market share away from Microsoft?" Will QNX be the operating system of the future, running everything in our lives because of it scalability? Will HAL run on it?
      Ray (Canada)
  • Amazon Tablet and Blackberry Playbook Not even close to the same

    Other than a similar look and size, the Amazon Fire is such a inferior device.
    No need to give you a list of the feature difference, anybody with a little
    knowledge can find it.

    The Blackberry Playbook is an Amazingly useful tablet with so much more power than the Fire, it's like comparing a computer limited to AOL.com to one with Full Internet Access.

    Anybody that compares them is exposed to the world as a person with quite limited technical knowledge.
    John Hanks
    • RE: Is the PlayBook about to get killed? No way, says RIM

      @John Hanks
      Finally someone who has something on top of his shoulders!
      Ray (Canada)
  • What IF they ARE almost the same?

    I'm seeing people say "very similar" "almost the same" about the Fire and the Playbook. What if they ARE basically the same.<br><br>In manufacturing the customer usually owns the dies and moulds to produce parts made by suppliers. If Amazon asked RIM to allow the use of RIM parts for the Fire, RIM might allow this, for a fee. By sharing parts then the economics change, production prices usually drop when production numbers increase.<br><br>Reduced production costs would be a huge benefit to both companies and volume purchasing of components usually results in lower prices as well. If you can lower the costs going into a product then you can lower the price to the consumer.<br><br>RIM and Amazon have different target groups for their products. Co operation could be a benefit for both.<br><br>Just wondering
    Alzie
  • RE: Is the PlayBook about to get killed? No way, says RIM

    Alzie - you make a great point - hopefully someone else is smart enough to have thought of this already
    Stix2002
  • RE: Is the PlayBook about to get killed? No way, says RIM

    Just bought one, I love it, great screen and best size for data entry, the 10" is just so cumbersome. As a system, my BB phone and the Playbook are a great asset.
    ranger1701@...
  • What I think...

    RIM should publish their BIS/BES client component as an app and make it available on iOS, Android, Windows Mobile, and possibly even HP WebOS (only if that product ever gains viability). That's about the only feature I really like about the BlackBerry product line and I detest ActiveSync.
    dferguson75@...
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