News by Dan Seifert on Friday December 02, 2011.
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RIM has announced in a statement that it will be taking a $485 million charge in its next quarterly earnings report to cover the large stock of BlackBerry PlayBook tablets that it is sitting on. Apparently, the company feels that it will not recoup that amount in sales of the PlayBook, and therefore needs to take the loss.
As a result of this, and the $50 million that RIM lost during its BlackBerry outage last month, the company has adjusted its third quarter 2012 financial outlook and guidance. RIM is sticking with the PlayBook for the long haul, though, and it says that the recent price cuts have renewed customer interest in the tablet and caused quite a bit of demand. RIM says it shipped 150,000 PlayBook tablets to retailers in the third quarter, and demand has been quite strong for them. Major big box retailer Best Buy has even sold out of the 7-inch tablet, thanks to the major price cuts and the Black Friday shopping weekend.
It doesn't look like RIM intends to give up on the PlayBook just yet, and its not likely that we will see an HP TouchPad-like fire sale on the remaining stock of tablets. "RIM is committed to the BlackBerry PlayBook and believes the tablet market is still in its infancy. Although a number of factors have led to the need for an inventory provision in the third quarter, 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," said co-CEO Mike Lazaridis. The PlayBook OS 2.0 software promises to add many features that have been lacking from the PlayBook, such as native email, calendar, and contact apps. It will also add compatibility with Android apps. The software is expected to be delivered to customers in February, 2012.
Dan is MobileBurn.com's Editor-in-Chief. Based in Poughkeepsie in New York, Dan can be found on Twitter as @DCSeifert.