End of the road for Wi-Fi BlackBerry PlayBook? [Update] Nope

The BlackBerry PlayBook hasn’t exactly captured the hearts and minds of the market since its rather lacklustre sales debut earlier this year. Even die-hard BlackBerry fans admitted that it’s not the 'complete package' that tablet buyers expect, given the absence of features such as native email and calendar applications, and the lack of any versions with cellular connectivity.

Now, BGR reports that RIM is preparing to stop production of the Wi-Fi device, citing a note to investors from Mike Abramsky of leading investment bank RBC Capital Markets.

With no firm launch date given for either the 3G or 4G PlayBook models, the Wi-Fi version – in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB flavours – remains the only PlayBook available, and the decision to end production may be indicative of a larger than expected backlog of stock in the face of slow sales. RIM reportedly downgraded its internal PlayBook sales estimates last month; DigiTimes reported several weeks ago that RIM’s early projections of selling 2.5 million units in its first three months were wildly optimistic, and have since been substantially downgraded to a more realistic projection of 900,000 sales.

If true, the move to cease production would allow RIM to clear inventory while focusing on bringing its 3G, LTE and WiMAX PlayBook versions to market. RIM has previously stated that it would deliver 4G versions to Sprint, AT&T and Verizon, although Verizon has since distanced itself from that claim, insisting that they are “still evaluating” the device. In the UK, meanwhile, mobile operator O2 last month reversed its decision to offer the PlayBook, stating: “Unfortunately, there are some issues with the end-to-end customer experience.”

Update: The official Blackberry Twitter has just called out BGR and said that their information is not correct.

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16 Comments

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I have the 16gb playbook and enjoy it quite a bit. Would enjoy having Bloomberg app and an IM one on it but doesn't bother me as I have my blackberry with me.

I doubt RIM will emulate android 1.6 they wouldn't waste their time on it. Probably 2.x they would

etempest said,
I think HP WebOS phone/tablet are getting more exposure then Rim's Playbook (at least commercially).

My interest in webOS has been increasing over the last few months. Does anybody think it has any chance against iOS, Android and WP7?

MFH said,

My interest in webOS has been increasing over the last few months. Does anybody think it has any chance against iOS, Android and WP7?

We've sold a total of 1 touchpad since last week. ever

S7R1K3R said,
We've sold a total of 1 touchpad since last week. ever

Ok that sounds sad. Really sad considering that it seems to be a constant hardware issue with the webOS devices. From what I've seen - admittedly only in videos (as I never found one in a shop - really bad sign) - the OS itself looks good…

Did the playbook ever get Android app emulation? I remember they said it was coming but I don't remember an announcement about it.

DukeEsquire said,
Did the playbook ever get Android app emulation? I remember they said it was coming but I don't remember an announcement about it.

I think the emulation was also only for Android 1.6.. So essentially pointless..

yowan said,
Wrong decision, they shouldn't discontinue it

I disagree. I've used one... it's awful. Back to the drawing board RIM.

All they are doing is trying to catch up to features everything else already has.

Take your time, and release it right the first time - not an unfinished product and you might gain some market share back.

I think all the companies rushing things need to take a step back and re-evaluate their "pre-release" buggy hardware/software rushed to the market.

Tech Greek said,
All they are doing is trying to catch up to features everything else already has.

Take your time, and release it right the first time - not an unfinished product and you might gain some market share back.

I think all the companies rushing things need to take a step back and re-evaluate their "pre-release" buggy hardware/software rushed to the market.


It seems like there is a standard of releasing it too early then just updating it later.

thatguyandrew1992 said,

It seems like there is a standard of releasing it too early then just updating it later.
Companies keep doing this, then wondering why all the reviews are so bad. A first impression for the reviewers on tech sites absolutely will make or break your product. If the product you hand those reviewers is half baked, your product will fail. End of story.