updated 12:50 pm EDT, Thu September 29, 2011
Collins Stewart claims RIM ending PlayBook as-is
(Update: denied) Collins Stewart analyst John Vinh in a research note put forward a controversial claim that RIM was stopping BlackBerry PlayBook production. In addition to worker layoffs, RIM's supplier Quanta allegedly stopped production for all intents and purposes. "Due diligence" had also determined that RIM had stopped making additional tablet projects, he said.
RIM has been contacted by Electronista for commentary but hasn't had an opportunity to respond as of this writing.
Stores have been instituting rapidly increasing price cuts even before RIM's official go-ahead on price drops. A full shutdown, would nonetheless contradict RIM's public show of confidence during its fiscal results call. Next month, it plans a PlayBook 2.0 update and a video store that it hopes will re-energize sales along with official discounts.
The door is equally open to the rumor inaccurately reflecting a short-term production halt. Companies that have too much unsold stock will occasionally freeze production to churn through inventory before resuming later. If RIM were to truly have no new PlayBook models in the pipeline, however, it would at best point to the existing model being in stores at least as long as its peers before being phased out or replaced.
Update: RIM has quickly denied the rumor, saying it was still "highly committed to the tablet market" and that the checks were "pure fiction."