16GB BlackBerry PlayBook flushed away by RIM
Disties and retailers flogging last dregs
Ailing Canadian device maker Research In Motion (RIM) is killing off its entry-level BlackBerry PlayBook.
In a mailed statement to The Channel, RIM confirmed it is halting the production line for the 16GB version.
"The 16 GB PlayBook will continue to be available for distributors and retailers while quantities last," said RIM's mouthpiece.
"We continue to remain committed to the tablet space and the 32 GB and 64GB models of the BlackBerry PlayBook continue to be available from our distributors and retailers around the world."
The lower average sales price became a permanent feature in 2012 and this seemed to spur greater interest as RIM sold 500,000 in Q1 giving it a market share of 500,000, according to Canalys data.
The analyst did not split out the specific models and as PlayBook was not on the market in Q1 2011, a year-on-year comparison was not possible.
Ranjit Atwal, Gartner research director, said the device "never took off" and the fact the tablet had to be tethered to a BlackBerry smartphone to use email worked against the range, as did the dearth of applications.
"This just proves that vendors need the whole package to compete with Apple," he said.
RIM is embarking on a cost-cutting campaign that includes mass redundancies as it looks to save $1bn by the end of fiscal 2013 ending March to stem operating losses.
But jettisoning the low margin 16GB machine is a very small step in that turnaround effort. ®
What a load of...
"...the fact the tablet had to be tethered to a BlackBerry smartphone to use email..."
Gezus H... What a load of incomplete-to-the-point-of-being-perfectly-incorrect b... s... that is.
Any sensible email provider provides a web interface. These days, tying yourself to your ISP by using their email service ties you to their Internet access service - not smart. All major non-ISP email providers provide a web interface: perhaps you've heard of Gmail, Hotmail, etc.
Once you save the optimal shortcut then the webmail interface even allows access to attach files from almost anywhere in the PlayBook storage (something not even permitted by other OS choices). This so-called issue was a non-issue for many, thus proving that the statement as written is incorrect. We could "use email" just fine - even from Day 1.
And of course they eventually (these are the correct words...) provided a native email client app.
The initial omission affected some, but the statement implies a false impossibility.
Even today, I have never tethered to a BlackBerry phone since I don't have a BlackBerry phone. The webmail and the new email client app both work just fine through wifi (of course).
Please get your facts correct, and use the words that convey the correct facts.
My 16gb PlayBook is pretty good. If you can get one of the last few 16gb at less than the £169 I payed, go for it.
Re: RIM fanboi lmao
I don't see how talking about the playbook in positive tones is playbook pedantry.
So far all posts on here are correcting statements / notions that somehow the playbook was crippled from the start.
It was not.
It has wifi - and a browser, so you would be able to use email; it has the ability from the start to use blackberry bridge (for me that was the killer app), and in my opinion having worked w the ipad and an android tablet - the form factor of the playbook was the winner.
Reviewers complained about the absence of an email client - well, there were good (security) reasons for that, as well.
The playbook suffered from ignorant reviews from the beginning. The concept of that blackberry bridge (using your phone's connection and dataplan without having to pay any tethering fees or special plans) was maybe too revolutionary for reviewers... (Note I'm being very gracious here; I could very well have questioned their faculties...)
Flash, html5, -useful- apps. It does it all. There are still os updates coming, too, unlike other tablets, who are left in the cold.
And complaining about yoofs and ugly phones? Come on, try a little harder.
Another CLUELESS "expert"...
..."Ranjit Atwal, Gartner research director, said the device "never took off" and the fact the tablet had to be tethered to a BlackBerry smartphone to use email worked against the range..."
Sorry to break it to you Ranjit baby...but the PB does not NEED to be tethered to a BB smartphone...I have been tethering mine to my 3g LG "stupid-phone" since day one via Bluetooth...and it works just fine.
RIM's biggest problem with the PB is the fact that ADVERTIZING for it has been non-existent. And the omission of a native e-mail client & calendar on the first iteration of it was simply stupid.
It's really too bad, because it really is a wonderful tablet...but I fear it is too late to the party now...just like RIM.
What's the odds...
Possible that RIM aren't actually manufacturing ANY models and just slowly disposing of warehouses full of devices?