RIM giving away Playbook to enterprise customers

The Blackberry Playbook had not had the best of receptions since the seven inch tablet was released earlier this year. The reviews have mostly been negative. Once more, shipment numbers have been much lower than anticipated for Research in Motion. RIM has tried to cut the price of the Playbook in recent months, including a drastic reduction to just $199 this week "for a limited time."

Now RIM is offering the Playbook to a select group of customers for the low, low price of free. Yes, RIM is now giving the devices away. There's a catch, of course. The offer is only if you are a business customer and you pay for the latest version of the Blackberry Enterprise Server software. If you qualify for that, you can get a free 16 GB version of the Playbook once you fill out the online form.

The fact that RIM is giving away units of the Playbook to some business customers along with reducing the price down to fire sale levels for regular consumers might lead some people to believe that the company is preparing to shut down production of the Playbook. However, RIM has said repeatedly that it will continue to both make and support the tablet. That includes plans to release a major OS update which is currently scheduled for February 2012. Still, one can't get away from the fact that RIM seems to want to sell off a lot of Playbook units in a hurry.

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16 Comments

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John this is where I think your assessment is flawed. If majority of your customers are 'x' (Enterprise in this case) Would you sell them a product with the intent of discontinuing it shortly thereafter? A move like that would be suicide for RIM because no Enterprise will be happy to be a victim of such a bait and switch ploy. Unless I am misunderstanding your post, this is the message it seems to portray. In fact I think what RIM wants is to grandfather its product into these corporations to maintain its dominance in this sector. Furthermore, as sales numbers increase that means more developers will be on board to develop for the platform.

RIM is aware the product had an extremely slow start, in fact the launch was a complete failure, that is not to say they have abandoned it, they know just as well that this is the future of business and them backing out would mean their demise.

That's what I think anyway, from my POV this can only be a good thing for RIM even if it doesn't increase sales right away it will down the line.

I think they are getting rid of them fast because they made too many of them and are getting ready for a new version of the Playbook. It only makes sense...

Frank2029 said,
I think they are getting rid of them fast because they made too many of them and are getting ready for a new version of the Playbook. It only makes sense...

i agree.. they are selling the old ones because they are going to release a new one with QNX 2.0 it should be good

If MS takes over it, it will be huge + for them in keeping super valuable RIM patents. Best way to push their WinPh to corporate customers. Just to keep patents and to use technologies, not to make phones. Noki s already there for that.

nitins60 said,
If MS takes over it, it will be huge + for them in keeping super valuable RIM patents. Best way to push their WinPh to corporate customers. Just to keep patents and to use technologies, not to make phones. Noki s already there for that.

+1

nitins60 said,
If MS takes over it, it will be huge + for them in keeping super valuable RIM patents. Best way to push their WinPh to corporate customers. Just to keep patents and to use technologies, not to make phones. Noki s already there for that.

why? MS already has more corporate technology then RIM ever will have. WP works flawlessly in a Windows (exchange) network, which IMO is way better then a BES.

Shadowzz said,

why? MS already has more corporate technology then RIM ever will have. WP works flawlessly in a Windows (exchange) network, which IMO is way better then a BES.

While i somewhat agree, BES is the most secure and thats whats most important for me at least.

Most secure? Anybody can wrap a mobile communication in 3 layers of encryption. So what, really, makes BES more secure besides knowing nobody cares about them? It's like Apple... they were secure by virtue of a low market share, not because their platform had more protections.

Nas said,
Most secure? Anybody can wrap a mobile communication in 3 layers of encryption. So what, really, makes BES more secure besides knowing nobody cares about them? It's like Apple... they were secure by virtue of a low market share, not because their platform had more protections.

wow you're retarded... Just because they are in 3rd place now doesnt mean they are not popular. They have 70million devices out there right now. And they were the most popular at one point. Still never breached.

Wombatt said,
RIM should just give up

Why would a company who NET... yes NET 3 BILLION in cash last quarter give up? I dont know of any other company who would do that... Do you?

Frank2029 said,

Why would a company who NET... yes NET 3 BILLION in cash last quarter give up? I dont know of any other company who would do that... Do you?

Because people think that just because a company is down on their luck, they should just give up, and not consider what could happen if they turn things around (see: Nokia).