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RIM sells more PlayBooks than shipped, may trim phone range

updated 07:05 pm EST, Thu December 15, 2011

RIM turns corner with cheaper BlackBerry PlayBook

RIM while talking about its latest results added that it had finally reached a level of balance on BlackBerry PlayBook shipments and might trim costs for the whole company. In a rare instance of revealing some of its sell-through to actual customers, the firm said it had sold more than the 150,000 PlayBooks it shipped out in the quarter. For the first time in months, the company needed to replenish the channel after clearing out existing supply.

There had been a "significant increase" in PlayBook sales since the price drop to $199. RIM expected the promotions to keep going and hinted they might last considerably longer. A rejuvenation was hoped for with the PlayBook 2.0 update in February, and the expansion of the user base as well as native PlayBook code was leading to more developer support, such as over 100 native games just recently added in the mix.

The company wished the launch could have been "smoother" for the PlayBook, but it was still committed to tablets as part of its strategy.

To help trim costs regardless of how well the tablet would fare, RIM also hinted that it might cull its model line. A new initiative at the company, nicknamed Core, was gauging how many BlackBerry phones it needed to have. The strategy would help find efficiency in production but wasn't looking to cut jobs. It might save "hundreds of millions" of dollars, RIM said.

With the first BlackBerry 10 phone not due to arrive until late 2012, concerns existed that the existing phones might not be enough to save RIM. The company was confident that promo deals and marketing would help keep sales up, but co-chief Mike Lazaridis added that BlackBerry Bold 9900 sales were doing "very, very well," and he heard "every day" that the Bold was the best communicator of its kind.

Although taking action, RIM now faces an uncertain period of several months where it will have to rely on its holdover BlackBerry 7 range and the current Playbook. Neither the first BB10 phone nor a Playbook sequel are expected until later into 2012, and the existing range will have to go up against hardware that's already faster and more feature-laden.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Mechanic

    Joined: Dec 1969


    comment title


  1. FreeRange

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Truly clueless company...

    What were these idiots thinking diverting valuable development and engineering resources to do a half-assed tablet instead of working at light speed to fix their core business / products? And now they are proud of the fact that they had to replenish the channel for the first time on a product THEY ARE LOSING MONEY ON!!! And that they just added 100 games? Where is the shareholder revolt?

  1. serkol

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Playbook is quite useful now, and will run android

    I agree that RIM is in trouble and they are idiots and so on, but I bought 2 playbooks for $200 each and I find them quite useful. Good screen, good speakers, fast enough (dual core), can play video, can open websites with flash, can open any ebook, and fits in my coat pocket. I saw that many new native games in the last week. Some games are quite good, big names, run very smooth, so I bought a few games for my kids.

    If you need an internet + multimedia + casual gaming + ebook device that fits in a coat pocket and has a very good IPS screen, and is cheap for $200, why not playbook?

    I think that even despite the lousy outlook for RIM for the next year, there will be new apps for playbook, because RIM sold quite a few of them.

    In february palybook will get the OS update and will run Android apps.

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