RIM Loses $485M on Failing PlayBook Tablet: Report

Dennis Faas's picture

There's no doubt 2011 has been a very tough year for Research in Motion (RIM), makers of the BlackBerry smartphone and PlayBook tablet, as sales of both devices are down across the board.

Now, after the Waterloo, Canada-based firm knocked hundreds off the price of its PlayBook last month, a new report says RIM is losing nearly half a billion dollars on the item.

The PlayBook tablet first shipped way back in the spring of 2011 with very high expectations. Featuring BlackBerry integration, it was supposed to be the "must-have" item for fans of the company's popular smartphone.

Unfortunately, waning sales of the BlackBerry has now translated into miserable sales for the tablet. In total, RIM has shipped fewer than a million PlayBooks, after hoping the number would be at least two to three times higher.

Despite Huge Losses, RIM Committed to PlayBook

In an attempt to arouse interest in the device and the brand, RIM cut $300 from the PlayBook's priced last month. The result: huge revenue losses for the firm, which recently admitted it was taking a hit of $485 million on the tablet.

RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis noted there has been a significant increase in demand after the price cut, and the firm promises it's prepared to stand by the PlayBook for the long haul.

"RIM is committed to the BlackBerry PlayBook and believes the tablet market is still in its infancy," Lazaridis said.

"We believe the PlayBook, which will be further enhanced with the upcoming PlayBook OS 2.0 software, is a compelling tablet for consumers that also offers unique security and manageability features for the enterprise. (Source: wired.com)

RIM Employees Booted Off Plane

Unfortunately, this isn't the only bit of bad news involving RIM in recent weeks.

Not long ago the firm underwent a major PR kerfuffle when a pair of RIM employees were kicked off a Beijing-bound plane for a regrettable combination of alcohol intoxication and bad behavior.

As a result, the plane was grounded for 18 hours and the airline forced to put up 314 passengers for the night. Both the RIM employees were arrested and face a fine of nearly $36,000 each. (Source: theglobeandmail.com)

RIM says it has suspended the employees.

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