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RIM: 500,000 Playbooks shipped in last quarter

The amount of Blackberry Playbook tablets shipped by Research in Motion actually increased in the company's last fiscal quarter, most likely due to aggressive price cuts. RIM's financial press release today said that it shipped over 500,000 of the tablets in the quarter which ended on March 3. That's a big jump considering that just 900,000 Playbooks were shipped in the first nine months of the tablet's existence.

RIM has been trying to get people to try the Playbook via various sales and price cuts. In February, it launched a major 2.0 software upgrade for the tablet which added some well needed new features, such as a dedicated email client.

In addition, RIM said today that it shipped 11.1 million units of its Blackberry family of smartphones during the same time period - that may sound impressive, but it's actually 21% lower than last quarter's shipments. However, much of the news was not good for the company. RIM revealed some pretty poor financial figures, but also made the somewhat surprising announcement that it plans to fully withdraw from the consumer device market.

The next big product announcement from RIM will likely be the launch of smartphones running on its upcoming Blackberry 10 OS. Those devices are expected to launch sometime in late 2012, with prototypes sent to app developers in early May.

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