Unsold and unloved—
The Blackberry Tablet, produced by RIM, appeared only five months ago and met with a collective question mark from the public because of its lack of software apps, its proprietary operating system—QNX, and its inability to provide email features unless it was connected to a Blackberry phone.
Because of these factors, trend-setting electronics fans in San Francisco and Silicon Valley avoided the PlayBook at all costs, as did the rest of the nation.
Investment advisor says it’s the end
John Vihn, an analyst for Collins Stewart Hawkpoint, an independent financial advisory group, put the pieces of the puzzle together and sent a note to investors about the PlayBook’s future with RIM:
“While Quanta last week acknowledged that it had laid off a significant number of production workers from a factory focused on producing the PlayBook, our research indicates that the ODM has essentially halted production of the tablet.
“Additionally, our due diligence indicates that RIM has canceled development of additional tablet projects.”
RIM denies the report
The investor note from Vinh, which for all intents and purposes says the PlayBook is dead, was met with ferocious denial by RIM. A company spokesperson sent an email to BGR, a tech-website, to defend its position:
“RIM doesn’t typically comment on rumors, but any suggestion that the BlackBerry PlayBook is being discontinued is pure fiction.”
There is another
RIM’s only hope is to sell its PlayBook inventory through purchase orders to the U.S. government. Earlier this year, the PlayBook was the first tablet to receive high security clearance for use by the FBI and other agencies.
But if this deal doesn’t come together, in spite of RIM’s denials, the PlayBook for all intents and purposes is gone.
The nail in the coffin
With the announcement of Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablet selling at a price tag of only $199, the PlayBook has little chance of surviving even with the recent $200 discounts across all of its models.
Even at fire sale prices, it’s unlikely that the PlayBook will be as big as a hit as the discontinued HP TouchPad because of its inability to run mainstream apps and its requirement to use a Blackberry phone to check email.
The end is near.
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