RIM reaffirms full support of its PlayBook tablet
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Due to the recent $200 price cut of the BlackBerry PlayBook, a number of analysts have been claiming that RIM may be abandoning the tablet altogether.
“We believe RIM has stopped production of its PlayBook and is actively considering exiting the tablet market,” said semiconductor analyst John Vihn. He also noted that any future tablet development projects from RIM have been canceled or put on hold.
Fortunately, RIM has since denied its exit from the tablet market and reaffirmed its support of the PlayBook tablet.
“Rumors suggesting that the BlackBerry PlayBook is being discontinued are pure finction,” said RIM spokesperson Maris Conway to Reuters. “RIM remains highly committed to the tablet market and the future of QNX in its platform.”
Still, it’s not surprising to hear such pessimism from analysts about RIM’s tablet future. The PlayBook has been underperforming in terms of sales as reported in RIM’s Q2 2011 fiscal results in addition to claims of mass-scale employee layoffs at a number of PlayBook factories. A rumored 10-inch PlayBook and a 4G variant for Sprint were also in the works, but have reportedly been cancelled.
Only 700,000 PlayBook units have been shipped since its inception in April through Q2 2011, according to Reuters.
RIM’s plans to reinvigorate its flagship BlackBerry tablet include a massive software update later this year. The update would bring Android App support, better email and calendar clients and improved functionality overall. While existing owners of the 7-inch tablet will no doubt be excited, it remains to be seen how many new users the update can bring in.