1. Darlaten's Avatar
    BlackBerry-maker RIM ditches 16-gig PlayBook - thestar.com

    Research in Motion Ltd. is abandoning its lowest-priced PlayBook computer but says it remains committed to the tablet space and will continue to build the more powerful versions of the 7-inch device.

    There is more value for our customers in the higher capacity models (32 GB, 64 GB), and as such we have decided to focus our efforts here, the Waterloo-based company said in an email.

    The 16 GB PlayBook will continue to be available for distributors and retailers while quantities last. We continue to remain committed to the tablet space and the 32 GB and 64 GB models of the BlackBerry PlayBook continue to be available from our distributors and retailers around the world.

    RIM said it will no longer produce the 16 GB version, which retails for $199, compared to the 32 GB at $249 and the 64 GB for $299, and will discontinue the product once inventory at distributors and retailers can be cleared.

    RIM in December took a $360 million (U.S.) after-tax charge on unsold PlayBooks after heavy discounting on the tablet, with analysts saying the company was losing money on the low-end device after the price cuts.

    Sales of the PlayBook have been dwarfed by the market leading Apple iPad and a host of other devices including the Amazon Kindle Fire and Android OS models led by the Samsung Galaxy Tab.

    The PlayBook was released in April 2011 to mostly positive reviews of its hardware but tough criticism for its lack of basic functions including a calendar and built in email, and the absence of the popular BBM text messaging service.

    The email and calendar shortfalls were remedied in February after significant delays when the company released its PlayBook OS 2.0 saying it would add support for BBM in a future software upgrade.

    The PlayBook is a Wi-Fi enabled device powered by the QNX software embedded in the operating system running RIMs BB 10 smartphones that are expected to be launched in October or November.

    RIM acquired Kanata-based QNX Software Systems from Hartman Inc. for an undisclosed sum about a year before the PlayBook launch.

    RIMs practice of buying technologies means the BB10 phones will be a patchwork of hardware and software obtained through acquisitions and licensing deals, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

    The paper says RIM licensed the BB10 phones camera technology from Scalado of Sweden and its predicative touch screen keyboard from the U.K.s TouchType.

    Acquiring smaller companies for their technology and research is not uncommon but the Journal points out that RIM faces a challenge in integrating the technologies as it readies its shift to a new OS and a new family of phones.

    Note: That's the text from the article; not my comments.
    06-07-12 04:25 PM
  2. kbz1960's Avatar
    06-07-12 05:51 PM