Research in Motion confirmed that they are no longer producing the 16GB version of the BlackBerry Playbook due to lacklustre sales. But they are not withdrawing remaining stocks in the market and they will let those retailers to continue to sell them.
“We continue to remain committed to the tablet space and the 32GB and 64GB models of the BlackBerry PlayBook continue to be available from our distributors and retailers around the world,” said RIM on a statement upon their abandonment.
The announcement announced this after they experienced a lacklustre sale of the 16GB version. They drastically slashed price from $500 to $199 because of pre-tax provision that was necessary for them to pay for the Black Berry Playbook inventory.
RIM initially announced their PlayBook in Sept. 2010. The 7-inch tablet is capable of having 1024 x 600 resolution, multitouch capacitive display, a dual-core, 1-GHz Cortex A9 microprocessor, and a 1GB RAM. It runs on QNX’s mobile operating system, as well as HTML5 and Flash, which is capable of native hardware support to accelerate the apps’ framerate.
It hit the public in April 2011. The downside is, RIM also delayed their BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 until February 2012 which is originally to be released by October. Another delay that RIM announced is just this year. They will not have a debut of the upcoming BB10 operating system which is designed for the PlayBook this year. But maybe soon.
The 16GB BlackBerry PlayBook is still listed on blackberry.com at around $199. The 32GB and the 64GB are available at around $249 and $299 respectively. That’s a drastic price drop. During RIM’s peak, they are sold at around $499, $599, and $699, respectively.
This is a new sign that RIM is soon coming at its dissolution. From time to time, they are dropping their products’ price. Will this really be the end for RIM? Maybe yes, maybe no. If they will somehow come up with a fate-twisting product development, or they will succumb to Android (which is for me, far from happening), there might still be a chance to redeem themselves. If they will continue to trail their current path, then its goodbye BlackBerry, goodbye RIM.