Sunday, July 24, 2011

BlackBerry PlayBook isn't making any money as cunning plan backfires

The BlackBerry PlayBook tablet isn't making any money, according to new reports. A cunning plan to sell lots of the iPad-challenging tablet has backfired, leaving BlackBerry way out of pocket.

Research in Motion, the company that makes BlackBerry devices, came up with the wizard wheeze of giving the first 500,000 PlayBooks to shops and phone networks at a discount price, which would then encourage customers to buy the first batch quickly, which would be followed by millions more PlayBooks at full price -- followed by everyone involved going for a swim in a big bath of money. What could possibly go wrong?
Turns out that the first batch hasn't sold and those further orders haven't materialised -- which means RIM hasn't made any profit from the PlayBook yet. It may be a powerful device but customers aren't keen on the lack of apps and the fact you need a BlackBerry phone to use it properly -- a nugget that RIM reportedly kept quiet until the last minute.
It seems the PlayBook has done so badly, a 10-inch tablet has been axed in favour of a smart phone.
Boy Genius Report revealed the PlayBook's problems in a look at RIM, a company "filled with attitude, cockiness, heated arguments among the executive team and Co-CEOs, and paranoia", and "teetering on the edge between greatness and collapse".
Notoriously thin-skinned RIM boss Mike Lazaridis is reported to have fallen behind recent trends in phone design, initially refusing to put cameras in BlackBerrys or give them names because they were mostly used by government and business types who wouldn't appreciate such fripperies. Earlier this month a BlackBerry boss wrote an anonymous open letter, describing how they had lost confidence in the company, and calling the PlayBook a "Fisher Price toy".
It's not all bad news for for RIM: this week the company announced seven new smart phones that will be powered by the latest BlackBerry 7 software. And BlackBerry's slice of the smart phone market here in the UK rose over the last year.
The BlackBerry PlayBook has been on sale for a month in the UK. Have you bought one? What can RIM do to reclaim its place at the front of the mobile market? Tell us your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook page.

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